Edited by Joao Paulo Carmo  
and Joao Eduardo Ribeiro 
Edited by Joao Paulo Carmo  
and Joao Eduardo Ribeiro 


New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
Edited by Joao Paulo Carmo and Joao Eduardo Ribeiro

Mohsen Mohseni, Bahram Ramezanzadeh, Hossein Yari, Mohsen Moazzami Gudarzi, Horst
Hintze-Bruening, Fabrice Leroux, Evripidis Lois, Panagiotis Arkoudeas, Amaya Igartua, Xana
Fdez-Pérez, Iñaki Illarramendi, Rolf Luther, Jürgen Rausch, Mathias Woydt, Vítor Monteiro,
Henrique Gonçalves, João C. Ferreira, João L. Afonso, Ruben Ivankovic, Jérôme Cros, Mehdi
Taghizadeh Kakhki, Carlos A. Martins, Philippe Viarouge, Niels Koch, Preeti Bajaj, Milind
Khanapurkar, Amedeo Troiano, Eros Pasero, Luca Mesin, J. P. Carmo, J. E. Ribeiro, Hernani
Lopes, João Ribeiro, Arjun Yogeswaran, Pierre Payeur, Darrell Robinette, Carl Anderson, Jason
Blough, Takama Suzuki, Masaki Takahashi, Mário Sacomano Neto, Sílvio R. I. Pires

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New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering, Edited by Joao
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Preface IX
Section 1 Materials 1
Chapter 1 The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 3
Mohsen Mohseni, Bahram Ramezanzadeh,
Hossein Yari and Mohsen Moazzami Gudarzi
Chapter 2 Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 55
Horst Hintze-Bruening and Fabrice Leroux
Chapter 3 Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 91
Evripidis Lois and Panagiotis Arkoudeas
Chapter 4 Biolubricants and Triboreactive
Materials for Automotive Applications 119
Amaya Igartua, Xana Fdez-Pérez, Iñaki Illarramendi,
Rolf Luther, Jürgen Rausch and Mathias Woydt
Section 2 Electronics 147
Chapter 5 Batteries Charging Systems for Electric
and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 149
Vítor Monteiro, Henrique Gonçalves,
João C. Ferreira and João L. Afonso
Chapter 6 Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the
Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 169
Ruben Ivankovic, Jérôme Cros, Mehdi Taghizadeh Kakhki,
Carlos A. Martins and Philippe Viarouge
Chapter 7 Antennas for Automobiles 191
Niels Koch
VI Contents

Chapter 8 Automotive Networks Based
Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 207
Preeti Bajaj and Milind Khanapurkar
Chapter 9 A Road Ice Sensor 231
Amedeo Troiano, Eros Pasero and Luca Mesin
Chapter 10 Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 255
J. P. Carmo and J. E. Ribeiro
Section 3 Mechanics 283
Chapter 11 Structural Health Monitoring in
Composite Automotive Elements 285
Hernani Lopes and João Ribeiro
Chapter 12 3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection
of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 303
Arjun Yogeswaran and Pierre Payeur
Chapter 13 Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting
the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 333
Darrell Robinette, Carl Anderson and Jason Blough
Chapter 14 Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering
Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 359
Takama Suzuki and Masaki Takahashi
Section 4 Manufacturing 377
Chapter 15 Performance Measurement in Supply
Chains: A Study in the Automotive Industry 379
Mário Sacomano Neto and Sílvio R. I. Pires


An automobile was seen as a simple accessory of luxury in the early years of the past
century. Therefore, it was an expensive asset which none of the common citizen could
afford. It was necessary to pass a long period and waiting for Henry Ford to establish
the first plants with the series fabrication. This new industrial paradigm makes easy to
the common American to acquire an automobile, either for running away or for
working purposes. Since that date, the automotive research grown exponentially to the
levels observed in the actuality. Now, the automobiles are indispensable goods; saying
with other words, the automobile is a first necessity article in a wide number of
aspects of living: for workers to allow them to move from their homes into their
workplaces, for transportation of students, for allowing the domestic women in their
home tasks, for ambulances to carry people with decease to the hospitals, for
transportation of materials, and so on, the list don’t ends. The new goal pursued by the
automotive industry is to provide electric vehicles at low cost and with high reliability.
This commitment is justified by the oil’s peak extraction on 50s of this century and also
by the necessity to reduce the emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere, as well as to reduce
the needs of this even more valuable natural resource. In order to achieve this task and
to improve the regular cars based on oil, the automotive industry is even more
concerned on doing applied research on technology and on fundamental research of
new materials. The most important idea to retain from the previous introduction is to
clarify the minds of the potential readers for the direct and indirect penetration of the
vehicles and the vehicular industry in the today’s life. In this sequence of ideas, this
book tries not only to fill a gap by presenting fresh subjects related to the vehicular
technology and to the automotive engineering but to provide guidelines for future
This book account with valuable contributions from worldwide experts of
automotive’s field. The amount and type of contributions were judiciously selected to
cover a broad range of research. The reader can found the most recent and
cutting-edge sources of information divided in four major groups: electronics (power,
communications, optics, batteries, alternators and sensors), mechanics (suspension
control, torque converters, deformation analysis, structural monitoring), materials
X Preface

(nanotechnology, nanocomposites, lubrificants, biodegradable, composites, structural
monitoring) and manufacturing (supply chains).
We are sure that you will enjoy this book and will profit with the technical and
scientific contents. To finish, we are thankful to all of those who contributed to this
book and who made it possible.

João Paulo Carmo
University of Minho

João Eduardo Ribeiro
Polytechnic Institute of Bragança

Section 1


Chapter 1
The Role of Nanotechnology
in Automotive Industries
Mohsen Mohseni, Bahram Ramezanzadeh,
Hossein Yari and Mohsen Moazzami Gudarzi
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Nanotechnology involves the production and application of physical, chemical, and
biological systems at atomic or molecular scale to submicron dimensions and also the
integration of the resulting nanostructures into larger systems. Therefore, nanotechnology
deals with the large set of materials and products which rely on a change in their physical
properties as their sizes are so small. Nanotechnology promises breakthroughs in areas such
as materials and manufacturing. Nanoparticles, for example, take advantage of their huge
surface area to volume ratio, so their optical properties become a function of the particle
diameter. When incorporated into a bulk material, these can strongly influence the
mechanical properties such stiffness or elasticity. For example, traditional polymers can be
reinforced by nanoparticles leading to novel materials to be used as lightweight
replacements for metals. Such enhanced materials will enable a weight reduction together
with an increase in durability and enhanced functionality.
There are different reasons why this length scale is so important. The wavelike behavior of
materials predominates when the size lies in the atomic scale. This changes the fundamental
properties of materials such as melting temperature, magnetization and charge capacity
without changing the chemical composition. The increased surface area of nano materials
make them ideal for use in composites, reacting systems and energy storage. By increasing
the surface area the number of surface atoms increases dramatically, making surface
phenomena play a vital role in materials performance. This is because a greater amount of a
substance comes in contact with surrounding material. This results in better catalysts, since
a greater proportion of the material is exposed for potential reaction. At nanoscale the
gravitational forces become negligible and electromagnetic forces dominate. At nano scale
surface and interface forces become dominant. From optical point of view, when the size of
materials is comparatively smaller than the wavelength of visible light they do not scatter

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 4
light and can be used in applications where transparency is of great importance. The
automotive sector is a major consumer of material technologies. It is expected that
nanotechnologies improve the performance of existing technologies for car industries.
significantly. Applications range from already existing paint quality, fuel cells, batteries,
wear-resistant tires, lighter but stronger materials, ultra-thin anti-glare layers for windows
and mirrors to the futuristic energy-harvesting bodywork, fully self-repairing paint and
switchable colors. The basic trends that nanotechnology enables for the automobile are :
lighter but stronger materials (for better fuel consumption and increased safety); improved
engine efficiency and fuel consumption for gasoline-powered cars (catalysts; fuel additives;
lubricants); reduced environmental impact from hydrogen and fuel cell-powered cars;
improved and miniaturized electronic systems; better economies (longer service life; lower
component failure rate; smart materials for self-repair).
This chapter attempts to discuss the applications of nanotechnology in automotive sector
and bring some examples of each set of products being used in car industries.
2. Exterior applications
2.1. Nano-clearcoats with high scratch and wear resistance
2.1.1. An introduction on scratch/mar
In a multilayer automotive coating system (basecoat/clearcoat), the main responsibility of
the clearcoat layer is to protect the pleasing appearance of the metallic underneath layer
from environmental factors. However, the clearcoat's appearance may be vulnerable to
degradation in exposure to harsh environmental conditions, especially weathering and
mechanical damages (Bautista et al., 2011, Barletta et al., 2010, Courter et al., 1997,
Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011d, Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011e). Scratch and mar are the most
important types of mechanical damages which impose serious challenges for the coatings
formulators. Depending on the size and morphology of the scratch/mar, the appearance
changes of the clearcoat may vary. Based on the viscoelastic properties of the clearcoat and
scratching condition (the cause of scratch, scratches force, scratch velocity and
environmental temperature) scratch can be produced by two primary mechanisms, i.e.
plastic and fracture flow. The fracture type scratch has sharp edges and irregular shapes
having high capability of light scattering (Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011f, Ramezanzadeh et al,
2011g, Yari et al., 2009a, Shen et al., 2004). On the other hand, plastic type scratch has
smoother surface and less ability to light scattering (Fig. 1).
The plastic type scratches are deeper than fracture types and have greater tendency to self-
healing at temperatures around clearcoat 's Tg.
2.1.2. Approaches to improve scratch resistance
Two main strategies can be sought in order to produce highly scratch resistant clearcoats: the
first is optimizing cross-linking behavior of the clearcoat utilizing appropriate components
and the second is introducing reinforcing inorganic fillers into the clearcoat formulation. The

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 5
first approach deals with low enough Tg-clearcoats showing the reflow behavior or
extraordinary high cross-linking density (Bautista et al., 2011, Barletta et al., 2010, Courter et
al., 1997, Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011, Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011d, Ramezanzadeh et al, 2011e,
Yari et al., 2009a, Shen et al., 2004). The clearcoats scratch resistance can be highly improved
by these two ways. However, there exist disadvantages for each of these strategies alone.
Producing low-Tg clearcoats needs changing clearcoat chemical composition. This may
negatively influence other properties of the clearcoat such as reduced chemical resistance. A
highly cross-linked clearcoat can be obtained by the reaction of melamine based resins and
polyols to form etheric bonds. Although this system may appropriately resist against scratch,
the coating will be susceptible to acid etching and performs weakly in weathering. One
alternative way to improve scratch resistance of the coating while the lowest weathering
performance is maintained is the use of so called hybrid materials including both organic and
inorganic domains simultaneously. In this system, the inorganic domains improve clearcoat
scratch resistance and organic domain guarantees the stability in weathering. The hybrid
materials can be obtained by direct embedding inorganic fillers into them or by in-situ
production of inorganic domain in a method called sol-gel processing. The micro-sized
inorganic fillers cannot be used due to their effects on clearcoat transparency. By using
inorganic fillers in nano sized form, the mechanical properties of the clearcoat will be
improved even at low loadings mainly due to their small particle size and huge surface area.
Unlike conventional micron-sized fillers, they do not affect the transparency of the clearcoat.
The advantages and disadvantages of incorporating nano-fillers into the clearcoat matrix or
in-situ creation of inorganic domains in the clearcoat matrix will be discussed below (Shen et
al., 2004, Schulz et al., 2001, Hara et al., 2001, Jardret et al., 2000, Weidian et al., 2001,
Thorstenson et al., 1994, Ramezanzadeh et al., 2010d).

Figure 1. Visual illustrations of (a) plastic type and (b) fracture type scratches.
2.1.3. Highly scratch resistant clearcoat containing inorganic nano fillers
It has been found that incorporation of nanoparticles such as Al2O3, SiO2, ZrO2 and TiO2 into
a clearcoat matrix could significantly enhance the scratch resistance (Bautista et al., 2011,
Amerio et al., 2008, Tahmassebi et al., 2010, Groenewolt et al., 2008, Sangermano et al., 2010).
Ceramic nanoparticles have been found as appropriate hardening materials to significantly
improve clearcoat hardness and therefore scratch resistance. However, the improvement
cannot be easily obtainable when the particles are poorly dispersed. The inorganic fillers do

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 6
not have intrinsic affinity to organic phase. These lead to phase separation and aggregate
formation. The aggregated particles (>100 nm) depreciate clearcoat properties especially the
optical clarity. Attempts have been carried out to solve this problem by surface modification
of fillers with organosilanes to render them hydrophobic and thereby improve their
dispersibility into the polymeric matrix. The surface modification not only can influence
dispersibility but also can result in stronger physical/chemical interfacial adhesion between
particles and the matrix (Tahmassebi et al., 2010). Different factors may be influential for the
effects of nano fillers on the scratch resistance of a clearcoat: the particles chemistry, size,
shape and surface modification. It has been demonstrated that nanoparticles could improve
clearcoat properties in different ways. The most important of which will be discussed here
(Tahmassebi et al., 2010).
Inorganic nanoparticles have hardness and elastic modulus greater than organic polymers.
Incorporation of these particles to the clearcoat matrix increases hardness and elasticity (Fig.
2). This depends on the content, the intrinsic hardness and the dispersion degree of the
inorganic filler. Increased hardness and elasticity may result in better clearcoat resistance
against sharp scratching objects penetrating into the surface.

Figure 2. Schematic illustrations of the chemical structures of the conventional coating consist of
resin/cross-linker (a) and inorganic-nanoparticles loaded paint (b).
However, it has been shown that greater hardness does not necessarily guarantee clearcoat
scratch resistance. There are problems with highly increased clearcoat hardness. For
examples, when the applied forces are greater than the critical force, it leads to fracture type
scratches. Increasing coating hardness can also result in an increase in clearcoat brittleness
and therefore reduction of other properties like flexibility. To overcome this problem,
attempts have been carried out to obtain tough clearcoat in presence of nanoparticles.
Results obtained in recent researches show that nanoparticles could influence cross-linking
density of the clearcoat by affecting curing reaction. Nanoparticles with organosilane
modifications include functional groups with high capability of reacting with functional
groups of resins. As a result, some chemical bonds between resin and hardener (curing
agent) will be replaced by the bonds created between particle/hardener and/or particle/resin.
Inorganic-nanoparticles Organic resin chains

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 7
This results in a decrease in the cross-linking density of the clearcoat. On the other hand,
nano fillers enhance the hardness and elasticity. These two phenomena result in clearcoat
toughness improvement in presence of nanoparticles. A tough clearcoat can resist abrasive
condition and show less fracture behavior (Amerio et al., 2008, Tahmassebi et al., 2010,
Groenewolt et al., 2008, Sangermano et al., 2010).
2.1.4. Highly scratch resistant clearcoat using sol-gel method
Nanofiller embedded clearcoats show enhanced scratch and wear resistance. However, the
clearcoat transparency will be influenced as a result of nanoparticles aggregation. Obtaining
appropriate dispersion needs surface modification as well as using different dispersing
techniques. In-situ process of inorganic phase formation inside organic matrix using sol-gel
technique has been considered (Ramezanzadeh et al., 2011d, Presting et al., 2003,
Hernandez-Padron et al., Hernandez-Padron et al., 2003). Organic/inorganic precursors can
be used to produce in- situ silica network in the matrix. These precursors, either as network
former, such as tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) or network modifier such as methacryloxy
propyl trimethoxysilane (MEMO) and glycidoxy propyl trimethoxysilane (GPTS), can be
introduced to the main polymeric film former to obtain a so-called hybrid nanocomposite
films. This process includes precursor hydrolysis and self-condensation reactions. The
hydrolyzed precursors could be cross-linked with the organic coating matrix by reacting
with polyol and other curing cross-linkes such as amino or isocyanate compounds in the
automotive coating formulation. In this way, a hybrid nanocomposite containing
organic/inorganic phases can be obtained (Fig. 3). The organic phase presented in the hybrid
nanocomposit can be responsible for the adhesion and flexibility and the inorganic phase
can help coating resists mechanical damages (Ramezanzadeh et al. 2010).
2.2. Scratch resistant polymer glasses
Nowadays, fuel consumption of a car is an important factor for both car manufacturers and
consumers. Request for producing cars with lower fuel consumption has been enormously
developed in recent years. Reducing the weight of the cars is one way reaching this target.
The car weight can be significantly reduced by replacing heavy glass parts (i.e. head lights
and windows) by light polymeric glass sheets (Fig. 4) (Yahyaei et al., 2011).
One of the most used kinds of glass polymers is polycarbonate which has excellent impact
strength, high toughness and light weight. Polycarbonates have been already used in light
covers and lenses. However, polycarbonate has limited scratch/abrasion and chemical
resistance together with the tendency to yellowing when it is exposed to UV light in long term.
Glass is a hard material having excellent scratch resistance. However, it has higher weight and
lower impact strength compared with polymeric glasses. Washing (both automatic carwash and
hand washing) and sand/dust particles presented in air are main causes of scratching
polycarbonates glass parts. This may result in a significant reduction in head lights
transparency and therefore light scattering. Attempts have been carried out to solve the
problem. Two methods have been sought for this purpose. Producing polycarbonate polymeric

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 8
glass parts by embedding nanoparticles into it and/or using acrylate or polysiloxane paints over
the head light. Aluminum oxide nanoparticles are also used in the coatings composition in
order to make it hard enough to resist scratch and abrasion. This coating is highly transparent
due to the small size of the filler particles and their fine distribution (Yahyaei et al., 2011, Pang et
al., 2006, Brinker et al., 1990). Embedding nano-sized silica particles into an organic modified
siloxane based coating results in nano-coating for automotive glazing application. This coating
can produce various properties for the plastic glazing like hydrophobic/anti-smudge, infra-red
(IR) and ultra-violet (UV) shielding and anti-fogging behavior. The schematic illustration of a
nano-enhanced automotive plastic glazing is shown in Fig. 5.

Figure 3. Schematic illustration of a sol-gel based automotive clearcoat containing organic/inorganic
precursors (Ramezanzadeh et al. 2010).

Figure 4. Modern automobiles equipped with nanostructure polymeric glasses for roof, windows and
cover light.
Organic phase
Inorganic phase
Polymeric glass windows
Polymeric glass roof
Polymeric glass cover

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 9

Figure 5. Cross-section of a nano-enhanced layers in automotive glazing coatings (Pang et al., 2006).
The average thickness of the nano-embedded coating used for polycarbonate is
approximately 1 mm. Different nanocoating layers (as shown in Fig. 5) are responsible for
anti-scratch/easy-to-clean/anti-fogging and UV stabilization of polycarbonate plastic
glazing. To this end, nanoparticles such as TiO2, SiO2 and Al2O3 for abrasion resistance
improvement, TiO2 and ZnO for UV protection, sol-gel based TiO for anti-fogging behavior
and TiO2 for easy-clean properties are used (Yahyaei et al., 2011, Pang et al., 2006, Brinker et
al., 1990).
In premium optical glazing like glass panes, using coatings with extremely high scratch
resistance is necessary. To this end, attempts have been carried out to apply hard materials
over the polymer glass from gaseous phase. Using physical vapor deposition (PVD) and
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) procedures as well as plasma polymerization, a highly
cross-linked nanometric polymeric layer containing inorganic components can be obtained.
Producing highly scratch-resistant polymer glass using these techniques opens new
possibilities for designing transparent roof tops (Fig. 5) and car body shell parts.
2.3. Nano-coatings with anti-corrosion performance for car bodies
Anti-corrosive coatings both in form of conversion and organic coatings are used to protect
metal body against corrosive materials. The most important of these coatings are Cr(VI) and
phosphate conversion coatings together with electrodeposition coating (ED). Cr(VI) due to
its excellent anticorrosion performance has been widely used to protect car bodies from
corrosion in the last decades. The high anticorrosion performance of this coating is related to
its high self-healing behavior in corrosive environment. However, the toxic and hazardous
nature of chromium compounds are well documented and their uses have been banned in
recent years. Phosphate coating is another kind of conversion coating which has appropriate
anticorrosion properties and is less toxic compared with Cr(VI). However, the bath

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 10
containing these materials leave huge amounts of sludge (Nobel et al., 2007, Dhoke et al.,
2009, Shchukin et al., 2007, Brooman, 2002, Kasten et al., 2001).
It has been shown that Cr(III) is less toxic compared with Cr(VI). However, compared to
Cr(VI), Cr(III) does not have long-term protection. Nanotechnology has been employed to
eliminate this disadvantage. A three layer system including zinc layer, Cr(III) enriched layer
and nano-SiO2 particles containing layer are used for this purpose (Fig. 6). Each layer has
specific role for corrosion protection of steel. Zinc has higher negative potential than iron.
And when it exposes to corrosive electrolyte, it can produce electron needed for cathodic
reaction and prevents iron from oxidation. As a result, Zn
cations produce positive charge
at surface. On the other hand, SiO2 nanoparticles have negative charges. Therefore,
nanoparticles can migrate to corroded area and cover it. In fact, nanoparticles produce a
layer with approximate thickness of 400 nm. This phenomenon is called self-healing by nano

Figure 6. Conventional anti-corrosion coatings (a) and nanostructured anticorrosion system (b).
Incorporating nanoparticles into electrodeposition coating formulation is another approach
to improve the anti-corrosion performance of car body. Nanoparticles such as Nano-SiO2,
Nano-TiO2, Nano-Clay, Nano Carbon Tube etc. are used to improve electrocoating
properties. What is important here is that electrocoatings are waterborne coatings.
Therefore, the nanoparticles used for this system must be compatible with coating
formulation. Hydrophilic surface modifications are used to produce nanoparticles
compatible with this kind of coating. Nanoparticles due to their very small size and high
surface area could improve barrier properties of the organic electrocoating against corrosive
electrolyte penetration. These particles increase electrolyte pathways through the coating
(Nobel et al., 2007, Dhoke et al., 2009).
2.4. Smart nano-scale container anticorrosive coating
New generation of self-repairing coatings are developed to further enhance anticorrosive
properties of metal substrates. In conventional systems, the barrier property of the coating is
the main mechanism for metal protection against corrosion. However, the barrier
(a) (b)

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 11
performance of a coating will be damaged soon and corrosive electrolyte comes into contact
with the metal substrate. Use of corrosion inhibitors is another approach to produce active
coatings in exposure to corrosive electrolytes. These active agents are soluble in corrosive
electrolytes and protect metal surface by passivation mechanism. There are different kinds
of corrosion inhibitors which can be divided to three main types based on the mechanism
controlling corrosion process. Anodic inhibitor (only reduces anodic reaction rate), cathodic
inhibitor (only reduces cathodic reaction rate) and mixed inhibitors (both cathodic and
anodic reactions can be influenced) (Nobel et al., 2007, Dhoke et al., 2009, Shchukin et al.,
2007, Brooman, 2002, Kasten et al., 2001, Sheffer et al., 2004, Garcia-Heras et al., 2004,
Osborne et al., 2001, Vreugdenhil et al., 2005). The solubility of the inhibitors is found an
important factor affecting its corrosion inhibiting efficiency. Very low solubility leads to low
passivating behavior at metal substrate. There are disadvantages for very high solubility:
first, the inhibitor will be rapidly leached out from the coating and second, the active surface
blistering and delamination may occur due to osmotic pressure effect. As a result of osmotic
pressure, water transportation into the coating matrix and passive layer destruction may
occur. Because of this, adding active inhibitors at high concentration is not possible in
conventional processes. This problem has been solved in modern coatings using nanoscale
container (carrying active agents like inhibitors). In this approach, active inhibitor is loaded
into nanocontainer. The nanocontainers have a permeable shell which could release active
agents in coating matrix. In fact, the shell is designed in a way which release active agent in
a controlled process. There is another approach which instead of nanocontainer in which the
passive layer is doped with active agents. However, interaction of active materials with
coating matrix leads to short-coming in the stability and self-repairing activity of the
coating. The disadvantages cannot be seen for the system loaded with nanocontainers as the
coating matrix does not directly contact with active agents. The system is schematically
shown in Fig. 7 (Shchukin et al., 2007).

Figure 7. Active material is embedded in the “passive” matrix of the coating (a) and active material is
encapsulated into nanocontainers (b) (Shchukin et al., 2007).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 12
The nanocontainers will be uniformly distributed in coating matrix keeping active materials
in a trapped state. The nanocontainers respond to any signal or when the environment
undergoes changes they release encapsulated active materials. Controlling nanocapsuls
permeability and nanocontainers compatibility with coating matrix are the most important
parameters affecting their anticorrosion performance. The optimum nanocontainers size
range is 300-400 nm. Using nanocontainers with larger sizes may lead to large hollow
cavities formation inside coating matrix resulting in significant reduction of the passive
protective properties of the coating. Depending on the sensitive components presented in
nanocontainers (i.e polyelectrolytes or metal nanoparticles) different parameters like ionic
strength, pH changes, temperature, ultrasonic treatment, magnetic field alteration may
influence shell permeability. The mechanism in which nanocontainers release active agents
and protect attacked areas of metal surface by corrosive electrolyte forming a passive layer
is schematically shown in Fig. 8 (Shchukin et al., 2007).

Figure 8. Schematic illustration of self-repairing mechanism of nanocontainers when metal is exposed
to corrosive electrolyte (Shchukin et al., 2007).
2.5. Weathering resistant automotive coatings
Two main purposes of coating application in automotive industries are protecting the car
body against environmental conditions and imparting desirable esthetic appearance. To
fulfill these functions, the coatings themselves have to remain intact for a long time in a
harsh environment. Photo and hydrolytic degradations respectively caused by sunlight and
humidity are two common processes occurred, resulting in changes in all aspects and
properties of automotive coatings (Yari, et al., 2009a; 2009b; Ramezanzadeh, et al., 2012a).
These chemical alterations may greatly influence all aspects of the coating. Therefore,
automotive coatings are required to be highly resistant against weathering condition. To
enhance coating resistance against sunlight, HALS (hindered amine light stabilizer) and/or
organic UV-absorbers has been added to clearcoat formulation. Although these ingredients
considerably enhanced weathering performance, in addition to having high prices, they can

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 13
migrate to other layers and are also prone to undergo decomposition during service life. To
fight weathering, nanotechnology has offered new solutions that have no drawbacks as
mentioned above for organic UV stabilizers.
In recent researches, various nanoparticles such as zinc oxide, iron oxide, cerium oxide,
titanium oxide and silica have been incorporated into conventional polymeric coatings to
enhance their resistance against sunlight. Nanoparticles, possessing a high surface area for
absorbing the harmful part of sunlight (ultraviolet part), prevent the coatings from weathering
degradation. Since they are inorganic and particulate, they are more stable and non-migratory
within an applied coating. So, they present better effectiveness and longer protection.
As mentioned before, TiO2 nanoparticles are effective to fight against UV rays and can
protect the coating against weathering. However, these nanoparticles especially can exert
strong oxidizing power and produce highly reactive free radicals and degrade the coating in
which has been incorporated. Thus, photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanoparticles has to be
controlled. For this purpose, treatment of nanoparticles by different techniques such as
silane agents not only suppresses photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanoparticles, also offers
clear advantages like simplicity and low cost and processing temperatures. It has also been
demonstrated that surface modification of TiO2 nanoparticles with aminopropyl trimethoxy
silane (APS), considerably has reduced photocatalytic activity of nanoparticles and
enhanced the weathering resistance of a polyurethane coating(Mirabedini, et al., 2011).
In various researches, it has been shown that zinc oxide nanoparticle can be an effective
option to nearly completely screen the UV rays and protect the coating(Lowry, et al., 2008;
Ramezanzadeh & 2011a). In an attempt to improve the UV resistance of an aromatic
polyurethane-based automotive electro-coating nano-ZnO particles were used. The results
obviously illustrated that the presence of nano-zinc oxide particles could decrease the
photodegradation tendency of the film and protect it against deterioration (Rashvand, et al.,
2.5.1. Weathering due to biologicals
Although, humidity and sunlight are the two main factors which degrade automotive
coatings, other environmental factors, i.e. those originated from the biological sources can
have a spoiling impact on the appearance of a car body during its service life
(Ramezanzadeh et al., 2009) . In a systematic manner, the degradation mechanism and
influence of various biological substances such as bird droppings, tree gums and insect
gums on automotive coatings have been thoroughly studied(Yari et al., 2009c;
Ramezanzadeh et al., 2010a; 2010b; 2011b) . It was revealed that both natural gum and bird
dropping seem to affect the coating physically (by imposing stress to coating while they are
being dried) and chemically(by catalyzing the hydrolytic degradation) (Yari et al., 2011;
Ramezanzadeh et al., 2010c; 2010b; 2011b). While natural gum has extensively created large
cracks with scattered etched areas (Ramezanzadeh et al., 2010c; 2010b), the influence of bird
droppings was formation of numerous etched regions with some small cracks (Yari et al.,
2011). It was also found that the most important factors governing the degradation are the

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 14
coating chemical structure at surface and adhesion between coating surface and biological
materials. Therefore, it was thought that any modification which could be able to alter both
surface chemistry of the clearcoat and adhesion would be an ideal option to fight bio attacks.
This idea was proved by a series of experiments. It was demonstrated that modification of
clearcoat with a functional silicone additive significantly improved the coating performance
against bird droppings and tree saps(Yari et al., 2012a, Ramezanzadeh et al., 2012b )(Fig. 9).
According to these new findings, creating a clearcoat with non-stick and superior water-
repellency properties would significantly reduce the failure of coatings caused by biological
materials. Ultra-hydrophobic self-cleaning coatings which are produced by nanotechnology
is a powerful approach for this purpose. Contaminants on such surfaces are swept by water
droplets or adhere to the water droplet and are removed from the surface when the water
droplets roll off. Although these types of coatings for automotive glasses have been already
commercialized, their development for automotive paints is in progress.
2.6. Smart windows based on electrochromism
As stated before, providing a secure and comfortable condition for driver and passengers
has become an important task in automotive industry. To this end, automotive experts
strongly believe that all types of energy like sound, light and heat which enter the car body
have to be controlled. Recent progresses in polymer and different types of dichromic
technology have allowed the development of smart glasses which intelligently control solar
radiation transmission and modulate glare, increase passenger comfort and safety. Among
different kinds of smart glasses, electrochromic (EC) ones are very important.
EC materials alter their optical characteristics (darkness/lightness) when a small electric
potential difference is applied. They are suitable for a wide range of applications. They can
be employed in different parts of an automobile like for energy-efficient windows, antiglare
rear-view mirrors, sunroofs and displays.
A typical ECD composition has a complicated structure. As shown in Fig.10, it usually
consists of a five-layer sandwiched-structure which are applied between two glass
substrates. This structure includes transparent conductor, an electrochromic coating, ion
conductor and ions storage coating and another transparent Conductor(Pawlicka , 2009).
Since the layers in this structure are very thin, the technology used for this assembly can be
considered in nanotechnology domain. The thicknesses of transparent conductor, EC,
electrolyte and counter electrode (ion storage ) layers in a typical EC structure are 1500A°,
4000A°, 100μm and 1250A°, respectively. These layers can be deposited by different
techniques such as sputtering, CVD, spin- or dip-coating from sol-gel precursors, etc.
The EC devices operate based on the reversible electrochemical double injection of positive
ions i.e. H
, Li
, Na
and electrons into the host lattice of EC materials. Diffusion of mentioned
ion and electrons into EC layer initiate some redox reactions, leading to a change in
electrochemical state of EC material and therefore its resultant color. This variation in color of
EC layer alters the color of the whole structure (for more details, see (Monk et al., 2007).

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 15

Figure 9. Microscopic images pure and silicone-modified clearcoats exposed to bird droppings and tree

Figure 10. A typical EC system consists of different layers (Pawlicka , 2009).
EC technology becomes more and more important because it possesses low power
consumption. However, due to slow diffusion of ions, response time (the time that a
Circular defect
Circular defect
Unmodified clearcoat – Exposed to Bird dropping
Silicone-modified clearcoat – Exposed to Bird dropping
Unmodified clearcoat – Exposed to Gum
Silicone-modified clearcoat – Exposed to Gum

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 16
perceivable change in color occurs) in conventional EC systems is relatively slow and this
drawback limits application of EC systems where a fast response is needed like in
automotive rear-view mirrors. A significant portion of studies related to EC systems is
devoted to new methods or materials to reduce the response time. In recent years, although
scientists have achieved successes using new materials like hydrogen ions instead of lithium
ions, nanotechnology has opened new rooms in this field and has triggered plenty of
academic and industrial enthusiasms. In an EC process, if the surface area of the EC
materials increases by producing nano-structured oxide films, migration of ions will be
improved and consequently redox reactions will occur faster. Here, a few of
nanotechnology-involved studies are briefly presented.
Among inorganic EC materials, tungsten oxide films have the highest coloration efficiency
in the visible region and, therefore, have been most extensively studied so far. In a recent
study, EC films from crystalline WO3 nanoparticles have been fabricated (Lee et al., 2006).
Porous films of crystalline WO3 nanoparticles were grown by hot-wire chemical-vapor
deposition and electrophoresis techniques. The nano-scale porosity of the films not only
increases the surface area and ion-insertion kinetics, but also diminishes the overall material
cost. It was also revealed that compared to conventional amorphous WO3 films,
nanoparticle films demonstrated superior electrochemical-cycling stability in acidic
electrolytes, a higher charge density, and comparable CE. It seems that these findings will
eventually revolutionize current EC technology.
The first commercial EC product was based on a patented document fom Gentex Corp. in
1992. It was a solution-phase EC rear-view mirror for automotive vehicles which had a
reflectance greater than 70% to less than 10%. This technology has been installed in many
cars. In addition, in 2007 Donnelly Corporation designed an EC system for use as
automotive mirrors. In this invention, which was based on polymerization of an
electrochromic monomer, the color of the mirror varies uniformly from a silver appearance
to bluish purple, and its reflectance changes from 60% to 20%. In a similar study, Thin
mesoporous films of nickel oxides and nanotube manganese oxides were electrochemically
produced on indium tin oxide(ITO) coated glasses and compared with conventional
structure ones(Yoshino, 2012). It was found that nano-structured films exhibited marked
changes in optical transmittance and electric charge with respect to the electrochromic
Coating EC material on different types of nano-particles are much more novel approaches to
take advantage of large surface area granted by nano-materials to overcome the drawback of
long switching time. Coating Viologn on TiO2 nanoparicles (Cummins, et al., 2000) or
preparation of Poly(3,4- ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanotubes (Kim, & Lee, 2005 ) or
arrangement of PEDOT films (Kimura, & Yamada, 2009) on Au nano-brush electrodes are of
the most important published activities.
In a same research, in order to enhance the contrast and switching time of regular Prussian
Blue (PB), which is widely used as a sole electrochrome in EC devices, the nano-technology
concept has been applied(Cheng et al., 2007). Fig. 11 clearly describes this research.

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 17

Figure 11. Conceptual structure of nano-composite PB film.
In the naocomposite shown in Fig. 11, indium tin oxide (ITO) nano-particles was applied as
a medium layer for PB to gain larger operative reaction surface area. It was prepared by
spraying a well-dispersed ITO nano-particle solution onto an ITO-coated glass and followed
by electroplating PB on pre-sprayed ITO nano-particles. Due to proper covering of ITO
nano-particles with PB, the final film produce a nano-porous electrochromic layer. Fig. 12
shows the SEM photograph of this nanocomposite from top and cross-sectional view. It was
also revealed that switching speed and contrast of nano-structured film exhibit much better
performances than traditional PB thin films. It was explained by this fact that
Nanocomposite PB offers much larger operative reaction surface area than traditional PB
film does.

Figure 12. SEM images of final PB nanocomposite film (a) top and (b) cross-sectional view.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 18
DuPont has developed an EC device based on an organic polymer technology to control
light transmission in automotive applications. In comparison with current EC technologies,
this not only is less complicated, but also it can be used in rigid and flexible forms, large
sizes, and curved shapes. Target markets of this technology in automotive include sunroofs,
mirrors, instrument clusters, windshield shade bands, sidelights, and backlights.
It is predicted that the market for smart windows will become a billion-dollar one by 2015
and will be doubling by 2018. The automotive market provides the next largest source of
smart window opportunities for glass suppliers, after the architectural markets.
The Ferrari 575 M Superamerica had an electrochromic roof as standard, and the Maybach
has a PDLC roof as option. Some Polyvision Privacy Glass has been applied in the Maybach
62 car for privacy protection purposes.
2.7. High-strength steels for car bodies
In order to enhance cars and passengers safety at crashes, the automotive producers have
attempted to use high-strength steels in car bodies. However, it is difficult recasting of high-
strength steel parts in cold state as the size accuracy changes and undesirable spring-back
effects may occurs. Recasting in a hot state (at 1000 °C) helps us to avoid such disadvantages
during recasting of high-strength steel parts. However, the scaling of this kind of steel is
difficult at high temperatures. Nanotechnology is utilized to solve this problem. To this end,
a multifunctional protective coating produced based on nanotechnological approach with
the principles of conventional paint technologies. This multifunctional coating is produced
using bonded and connected nano sized vitreous and plastic like materials together with
aluminum particles. This system is schematically shown in Fig. 13 (21-22).

Figure 13. Nanostructured high-strength steel for car body.
2.8. Nanostructured tyres
Tyres performance extremely depends on their cover composition which is continuously in
contact with road. So the rubber composition of the cover plays an important role on its

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 19
properties. Different properties like abrasion resistance, grip and resistance against tear
propagation are important. Incorporation 30% filler can improve such properties. Type and
loading of filler as well as chemical and physical interactions between filler and rubber are
influential parameters affecting its properties (Das et al., 2008, Zhou et al., 2010).
While the tyre resistance against grip should be high, its rolling resistance has to be low.
Tyres need to resist abrasion but they should have slip-proof properties to reduce the car
slide. In fact, there are three main factors which necessarily should be considered for a
desired car tyre. These are reducing fuel efficiency by improving rolling resistance,
increasing tyre life time by improving its abrasion resistance and reducing car fuel
consumption by reducing friction. However, reducing friction can negatively influence car
safety. The modern tyres consist of a mixture of synthetic and natural rubber, carbon black
and silica, additives and steel/textile or nylon rod as reinforcement.
Soot (carbon black), silica and organosilane are the important examples of materials used to
enhance rubber properties. Adding such materials to rubber composition at nanometric
dimensions can significantly improve tyre properties. The size and surface modification of
the particles can affect their chemical and/or physical interactions with rubber matrix. This
varies the particles cross-linking with natural rubber molecules, affecting its properties.
Nano sized soot particles can significantly enhance tyres durability as well as higher fuel
efficiency. These particles have courser surface compared with traditional ones and due to
their higher surface energy, they could produce stronger interactions with rubber matrix
(Fig. 14). As a result, inner friction can be reduced which results in better rolling properties
(Das et al., 2008, Zhou et al., 2010).

Figure 14. Schematic illustration of a modern nanostructured based tyre for cars (Das et al., 2008, Zhou
et al., 2010).
It is well known that strain vibration will occur within tyre material at high car speed.
Nanoparticles can reduce this strain vibration and results in superior traction, especially on

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 20
wet roads. The surface modification of the particles is important which will affect their
interaction with rubber matrix and its final properties. It has been found that carbon
nanotube (CNT) can improve mechanical properties such as tensile strength (600%), tear
strength (250%) and hardness (70%) of styrene-butadien rubbers. Tyres with higher stiffness
and better thermoplastic stability can be produced using lamellar nano-sized organoclays
like montmorillonite. The other nanoparticles used to enhance car tyre properties are nano-
alumina, carbon nano fibers (CNF) and graphene. The rolling resistance of tyres can be
significantly improved using silane-treated silica compared with traditional carbon black
based tyres. Using nanoparticles, tyres with better traction on wet and icy roads can be
produced. As a result, the stopping distance of car can be reduced by 15-20 % and 5% in fuel
consumption (Das et al., 2008, Zhou et al., 2010).
3. Interior applications
3.1. Automotive fabrics
Car industry’s commercial strategy today is to improve the safety and convenience aspects
of automobiles. Textiles, especially fabrics, as the main substances in designing of interior
parts of a vehicle, are very important. They are utilized in various parts such as interior
panels for doors, pillars, seats coverings and paddings, parts of the dashboard, cabin roof
and boot carpets, headliner, safety belts, airbags. Nanotechnology as a powerful tool has
aided the auto-manufacturers to reach their goals in a short period of time. The most
important properties of automotive fabrics which have been modified by the aid of
nanotechnology include: a) anti-microbial b) self-cleaning c) fire-retardancy.
3.1.1. Antimicrobial/antibacterial and Anti-odour properties
Textiles can grant an appropriate environment for micro-organisms growth especially at
proper humidity and temperature in contact to human body. Rapid and uncontrolled fast
thriving of microbes can lead to some serious problems. Because of public concern about
hygiene, the number of studies about anti-microbial modification of textiles has been
significantly increased in recent years. To this end, various anti-microbial agents such as
Oxidising agents ( aldehydes, halogens), Radical formers (halogens, isothiazones and peroxo
compounds), diphenyl ether (bis-phenyl) derivatives, Quaternary ammonium compounds
and chitosan have been used. Nevertheless, application of many of these materials has been
avoided because of their harmful or toxic effects. More recently, nanotechnology has been
the basis of a great number of researches to produce novel anti-microbial textiles. As
schematically presented in Fig. 15, the most important nano-structured anti-microbial agents
are silver, titanium oxide, gold, copper and zinc oxide and chitosan nano-particles, silver-
based nano-structured materials, titania nanotubes (TNTs), carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nano-
clay, gallium, liposomes loaded nano-particles (Dastjerdi & Montazer, 2010). These
nanoparticles can be coated directly on textiles or via a vehicle (incorporated nanoparticles
in a matrix such as silica network). Various techniques can be utilized for coating of these
antimicrobial agents on textiles like sol-gel processes and chemical vapor deposition.

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 21

Figure 15. Classification of inorganic based nano-structured anti-microbial agents(Dastjerdi &
Montazer, 2010).
The anti-bacterial action in these agents is caused via either a photo-catalytic reactions or
biocidical processes. An example of former type of anti-bacterials is titania-based agents that
act through the absorption of light, photo-catalytic reactions. As a result of these reactions,
excited charge carriers (an electron and a positively charged electron-hole) are produced.
While the positively charged holes induce the oxidation of organic molecules, the electrons
can react with oxygen, leading to formation of hyperoxide radicals. These radicals attack
and oxidize the cell membranes of microorganisms. The described photo-catalytic process is
the cleaning mechanism of superhydrophilic self-cleaning surfaces which leads to the
degradation of stains (Banerjee, 2011; Fujishima et al., 2008). Silver and gold are examples of
the latter type of anti-bacterial materials. In biocidical action, the antibacterial effect happens
via interaction between the positively charged biocide and the negatively charged cell
membranes of microorganisms which damages the microorganism. In the majority of
researches a combination of both mechanisms (photo-catalytic and biocidal processes) are
used to achieve an efficient anti-bacterial effect (Yuranova, et al., 2006; Yeo et al., 2003).
Among different anti-bacterial agents, silver has received the most attention because of
potential advantages(Montazer et al., 2012a; Montazer, et al., 2012 b). Besides possessing a
high degree of biocompatibility, silver is highly resistant to sterilization conditions and has a
long-term antibacterial efficiency against different bacteria.
In commercial viewpoint, anti-bacterial automotive textiles based on nanotechnology are
beginning to enter the market. For example, Tencel™ material based on nanofibrils of

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 22
cellulose was produced by Lenzing. It has a combination of properties and in particular
antibacterial properties which reduces growth of bacteria. This product has been introduced
to the market as a good candidate for seat car covers.
3.1.2. Hydrophobic surfaces and anti-stain textiles
Lotus leaf is a natural model for super-hydrophobic surfaces. Very low surface energy
materials (like fluoro- or silicone- containing polymers) and nano-scale roughness structures
(created by nanoparticles or nanotechnology-based procedures) are required for creating a
superhydrophobic self-cleaning surface. A schematic picture of such surfaces is shown in
Fig. 16. On these surfaces the distance between summits of such nano-roughnesses is around
few hundreds nanometer and they are so close together that a speckle of dirt would not fit
between them(Wang et al., 2011). Therefore, a non-stick surface is produced. On the other
hand, low surface energy substances make water roll off and easily wash off unattached dirt
from surface.
Different methods based on nanotechnology like Layer-by-Layer Deposition,
Electrodeposition/Electropolymerisation, Plasma and Laser Treatment, Electrospinning,
Casting and Molding can be employed for creating nano-roughness.
Among researches to make super hydrophobic surfaces, carbon nanotube, silica and fluoro
containing polymer nanoparticles were applied to the nylon, cotton and polyester fabrics in
form of a coating (46-48). In these works, they could achieve artificial lotus leaf structures.

Figure 16. Self-clean action on a conventional and on a nano-structured textiles by removing dirt with
water (lotus effect).
Opel Co. was the first manufacturer in the world to equip seating upholstery of Insignia
(Car of the Year 2009) with the Nanogate coatings that repel dirt and liquid staining.
3.1.3. Flame retardant fabrics
For the last half a century, various compounds have been employed to improve the fire
resistance performance of textiles. Inorganic chemicals such as antimony, aluminum and tin

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 23
as well as Bromine, Chlorine- and Phosphorus- based compounds are the main chemical
families of flame retardants (Horrocks, 2011). These conventional chemicals are not usually
harmless. It has been proved that halogen–antimony and phosphorus–bromine
combinations, besides having limited performance have environmental concerns.
Environmental regulations have restricted the use of these flame-retardant additives,
initiating a search for replacing toxic flame retardants in polymer formulations with safer
and more environmentally-friendly alternatives. This has sparked the interest of
Recently, polymer nanocomposites offering significant advantages over conventional
formulations have received many attentions in the field of flame retardancy. Nanoparticle
fillers are highly attractive for this purpose, because they can simultaneously modify both
the physical and flammability properties of the polymeric matrixes. Layered silicates (clay)
and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are two main nanostructured materials that have attracted the
attention of scientists to promote fire performance of polymeric substrates like textiles
(Bellayer et al., 2004; Kiliaris, & Papaspyrides, 2010). The nano-materials make fabrics less
ignitable and self-extinguishable when the flame is removed.
Since flame retarding mechanisms of clay and CNTs are different, significant synergism
happens when they are introduced to textile together, leading to a much more efficient
approach to improve the flame retardancy.
In recent studies, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane(POSS) compounds have been
utilized as fire-retardant agents. In a series of experiments, Bourbigot and coworkers
introduced POSS nanoparticles in polypropylene yarns, cotton and knitted polyester and
showed that the time-to-ignition increased significantly as a result of presence of
nanoparticles (Bourbigot, et al., 2005).
Since clays, CNTs and POSS nanoparticles are more expensive than traditional fire
retardants, their uses are currently hampered even if they are more environmentally
friendly. Therefore, cost reduction would likely change this situation.
3.2. Nano-coatings for engine application
Coatings plays an important role in improving efficiency and life of the car engine. These
are listed below (Dahotre et al., 2005, MacLean et al., 2003, Lin., et al 1993):
Lubrication (reduced frictional loss)
Thermal insulation (higher operating temperature)
Reduced friction (surface finish and affinity or oil)
Reduce dimension weight (replaces cast iron block/liner)
It is well known that engine of a car can operate at higher temperatures by reducing external
heat removal. Using lightweight materials in engine to reduce load, heat losses and
frictional losses is another approach to improve fuel efficiency. One of the most important

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 24
factors to improve fuel efficiency is reducing weight of engine. Replacing cast iron (with
density of 7.8 g/cm
) used in engine blocks with low-cast aluminum-silicone (with density of
2.79 g/cm
) is one possibility for engine weight reduction. However, aluminum alloys do not
have adequate wear resistance and high seizure loads to be used in the cylinder bores.
Because of these, cylinder bores are made of cast iron liners which have good wear
resistance. Therefore, attempts have been carried out to improve aluminum bars properties
using new composites and/or monolithic coatings (Dahotre et al., 2005, MacLean et al., 2003,
Lin et al., 1993, Venkataraman et al., 1996, Rao et al., 1997).
Nanomaterials can be employed to achieve extraordinary properties for aluminum bars.
Schematic illustration showing the variations of hardness versus grain size is depicted in
Fig. 17.

Figure 17. The effects of grain size of a metal on its hardness and other properties (Dahotre et al., 2005).
Fig. 17 clearly shows increase of hardness and flow stress as the grain size decreases (<100
nm). At grain sizes smaller than 100 nm, the deformation mechanism will be changed from
dislocation-controlled slip to grain boundary sliding whilst the plasticity is increased
simultaneously. Different parameters including toughness, flow stress, ductility and thermal
insulation of the aluminum will be intensified when the grain size is in nano scale.
Nanocoatings have been utilized in order to improve engine efficiency as described below:
3.3. Wear resistant nano-coatings for engines
Scratch and wear are criteria parameters which will be considered for the metal parts used
in automobile engines. Electrodeposited hard chrome and microstructure ceramic coatings
are the most used kinds of protective coatings for engine parts. The ceramic coatings are
frequently applied on metal parts using thermal spray. In plasma spraying, the coating
powder reinforced with ceramic particles is injected into a plasma stream following by
heating and accelerating toward the metal substrate. The ceramic rapidly cools and produce
a coating layer over the substrate. However, there are limitations for the use of
microstructure ceramic and eletrodeposited chrome coatings. Chrome coatings include
hazardous materials influencing the environment and are also expensive. The conventional
microstructure ceramic coatings are less expensive than chrome coating but are brittle and

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 25
show low adhesion to the substrate. Attempts have been carried out to find other
replacements. Nanostructured containing ceramic coatings have been utilized to improve
metal parts of engine against abrasion and wear. Reducing the scale of materials
microstructure like grain size, particle size or layer thickness can significantly alter its
properties (Fig. 18) (Rao et al., 1997, Wuest et al., 1997, Rastegar et al., 1997, Cole et al., 1997,
Ebisawa et al., 1991, Kabacoff et al., 2002, Sanchez et al., 2007).

Figure 18. Different states of nanostructured materials used in order to improve car body properties
(Kabacoff et al., 2002).
Recently, new nanoceramic composites (alumina-titania ceramic coatings) have exhibited
excellent wear resistance. However, there are problems with spraying nanoparticles because
of their low mass and poor fluidity. One way to solve this problem is agglomerating
nanoparticles into micrometer-sized aggregates. However, in order to obtain initial
nanostructure after spraying, the process must be carefully controlled. Alumina, alumina-
titania, cemented tungsten carbides, or zirconia powders are examples for the
nanostructured coatings obtained from agglomerated particles plasma spraying. Both wear
and abrasion resistance of the metal substrate will be considerably improved after the
nanostructured materials spraying. Recent findings have revealed that atmospheric plasma
spraying of the nanostructured materials results in better nanostructure formation in final
coating layer and better tribological properties of the coating (Dahotre et al., 2005, Kabacoff
et al., 2002, Sanchez et al., 2007).
Particle diameter Layer thickness
Fiber diameter
Grain size

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 26
3.4. Nano-coatings with good lubrication for engine application
It is well known that mechanical friction could significantly influence the internal
combustion (IC) engine fuel economy. Valve train, piston system crank and bearing system
are the most important sources of frictions (Fig. 19) (Dahotre et al., 2005, Kabacoff et al.,
2002, Sanchez et al., 2007).

Figure 19. New coatings used to improve (right) engine body structure and (left) cylinders.
These friction sources could reduce engine life and increase oil consumption. Coatings could
reduce frictions and result in lower oil usage. Examples of these coatings are Ni-Mo-MoS2,
Ni-BN, graphite-Ni, etc. Recently, nano-structured materials have been utilized to improve
friction properties of piston rings. Zirconium ceramic coatings can modify surface
properties. Nano-size zirconium powder can be dispersed in a mineral oil. The
nanoparticles can reach working surface of the engine when the piston moves. The nano-
size zirconium help ceramic particles better bond to the metal surface. Heat generated
during engine operation would be enough to cure ceramic powder attached to the engine
surface. After curing, ceramic coating produces hard and smooth surface at different parts of
the engine including cylinder walls, piston rings, piston top, valve tops and bearing
surfaces. The nano-size zirconium particles can also improve fuel economy, power output,
oil burning and reduce noise, vibration of engine and pollution discharge (Rao et al., 1997,
Wuest et al., 1997, Rastegar et al., 1997, Cole et al., 1997, Ebisawa et al., 1991, Kabacoff et al.,
2002, Sanchez et al., 2007).
3.5. Nanofluids and nanolubricants
3.5.1. Nanofluids: Properties and application in automotive industry
Adding nano sized materials like nanofibers, nanotubes, nanowires, nanorods and
nanosheets to fluids results in producing new generation of fluids having superior
properties in comparison with conventional fluids. In fact, nanoscale colloidal suspensions
loaded with condensed nanomaterials are named nanofluids. This system consists of two
phases: liquid phase (base fluid) and solid phase (nanoparticles). Using nanoparticles, the
thermoplastic properties such as thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity, viscosity and
convective heat transfer coefficient of the fluid will be significantly enhanced. Achieving
such properties need making stable nanofluids which has shown serious challenge in recent

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 27
years (Yu et al., 2011, Trisaksri et al., 2007, Wang et al., 2007, Wang et al., 2008). Using
nanofluids, cooling systems with higher efficiency have been designed for cars. Decreasing
cooling system weight and reducing its complexity are the most important advantages of
using nanofluids. In this way, compact cooling system with smaller size and weight can be
designed for cars' radiator. Improving thermal conductivity of ethylene glycol-based fluids
using nanomaterials has attracted much attention as engine coolant. In conventional cooling
systems, a ratio of 50:50 of water and ethylene glycol is used as coolant. However, there are
advantages of using ethylene glycol based nanofluids such as low pressure operation
compared with mixture of water and ethylene glycol. Nanofluids based coolants have
boiling point higher than conventional ones helping it reject more heat through coolant
system. It has been shown that using nanofluids in cars' radiator could reduce frontal area of
radiator up to 10%. In this way, nanofluids could reduce aerodynamic drag and fuel saving
up to 5%. Nanofluids could also reduce friction and wear in pumps and compressors,
leading to fuel saving up to 6%. These all reveal that nanofluids are suitable materials which
not only could improve cars cooling system performance but also can greatly influence the
structure design of cars (Wang et al., 2008, Li et al., 2009, Kakac et al., 2009, Xie et al., 2009,
Yu et al., 2009, Yu et al., 2007, Kole et al., 2007, Tzeng et al., 2005).
3.5.2. Heat transfer improvement using nanofluids
Maxwell's model reveals that increase in volume fraction of spherical nanoparticles results
in thermal conductivity improvement of a liquid. Moreover, increase in surface area-to-
volume ratio of the particles leads to an increase of the conductivity of the liquid. In
addition to particles size and particles loading, the particles sphericity (defined as the ratio
of the surface area of a perfect spherical particle to that of non-spherical particle at the same
volume) is another parameter influencing thermal conductivity of a suspension. Hamilton
and Crosser's (Yu et al., 2009, Yu et al., 2007, Kole et al., 2007, Tzeng et al., 2005) revealed
that decreasing particle sphericity from 1.0 to 3.0 results in significant increase in thermal
conductivity more than two times. Particle with 10 nm diameters has surface-area to volume
ratio of 1000 times greater than a particle with 10 μm size. Consequently, it has been
expected to enhance thermal conductivity using nanometer sized particles much greater
than micrometer sized particles.
Attempts have been carried out to improve heat transfer ability of water/ethylene glycol
liquids (used in a car radiator) using nanoparticles. Nano CuO and Al2O3 particles are added
to these liquids. Results showed significantly enhanced thermal conductivity of the liquids
using these nanometric materials. It is shown that using 4 vol% nano-CuO (30 nm diameter)
can increase thermal conductivity of the ethylene glychol by 20%. The same observation was
seen in case of using nano-Al2O3 particles in water. It has been found that reducing nano-
CuO particles' size results in further increase in thermal conductivity of the liquid. In
another research, the effects of addition of nano sized ZnO, Al2O3 and TiO2 particles (at 5
vol%) to an ethylene glycol on its thermal conductivity and viscosity was studied. The
highest thermal conductivity and the lowest viscosity were observed for the liquid loaded
with MgO nanoparticles. Carbon nanotube is found effective nanoparticle to enhance

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 28
thermal conductivity of water and ethylene glycol. Using 1 vol% carbon nanotube can
improve water/ethylene glycol mixture conductivity up to 175% (Kakac et al., 2009, Xie et
al., 2009, Yu et al., 2009, Yu et al., 2007, Kole et al., 2007, Tzeng et al., 2005).
3.6. Lubricating oils for cars using nanoparticle additives
Lubricants like mineral oil are used to reduce friction and wear in automobile engine. The
pistons movement in cylinder of an engine produces frictions as a result of metals wear.
This may lead to reduced engine efficiency as well as lowered engine life. Oils are used as
lubricant to reduce friction. The conventional oils need to be exchanged after a special
engine working time. In fact, the oil lubricant properties will be gradually reduced.
Researches to produce better oils with longer life are developed in recent years.
Nanotechnology is one of the most effective ways of fulfilling this target (Wu et al., 2007,
Chinas-Castillo et al., 2003). It has been shown that nanoparticles could improve lubricant
behavior of conventional oils. Particles shape, size and concentration are influential
parameters affecting wear and friction reduction. It has been shown that gold particles
having particle size of 20 nm has the best lubricating effects. Dialkyldithiophosphate
modified copper nanoparticles is shown as an effective nanoparticle with high ability of
improving anti-wear ability of metal surface by producing an anti-friction film. Diamond
and inorganic fullerene-like (IF) particles are other examples of anti-wear nanoparticles
being used as additives for lubrication. The most important mechanisms which result in
friction reduction are colloidal effects, rolling effects, protective film and third body.
Diamond nanoparticles were added to oil to improve its anti-wear ability. This nanoparticle
has found to improve oil lubricant behavior via various mechanisms including: (a) ball
bearing effects of the spherical particles existed between rubbing surfaces, (b) the surface
polishing and (c) increasing surface hardness. Adding CuO nanoparticles to oil could
significantly reduce friction coefficient. Ball bearing at high temperature and viscous effect
at low temperature are the reasons CuO nanoparticles can improve anti-wear behavior of
oil. The nanoparticles depositions at worn surfaces would be responsible for shear stress
reduction leading to tribological properties improvement of the surface (Wu et al., 2007,
Chinas-Castillo et al., 2003, Zhou et al., 1999, Rapoport et al., 1999, Chen et al., 1998).
3.7. Energy criterion in cars
To replace combustion engines, different strategies and methods have been developed.
Among them, electrochemical energy production/storage is the most important option
owing to sustainability and being environmentally friendly (Schlapbach & Zuttel, 2001). The
so-called electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems include fuel cells, batteries
and supercapacitors. Although batteries have found their way in marketplace in different
applications and fuel cells and supercapacitors are competing to establish promising
applications, there are still many challenges to be solved to have energy conversion/storage
systems which could surpass combustion engines in terms of power/energy performance
and cost (Winter & Brodd, 2004). Nanomaterials are finding great contribution to overcome
these challenges (Arico et al., 2005; Serrano et al., 2009).

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 29
3.7.1. Fuel cells
Automobiles powered by fuel cells are believed to have considerable market in near future
and it is envisioned about 80 million fuel cell vehicles will be on the road by 2020 (Serrano et
al., 2003). High efficient energy conversion, safety, high energy density, nonpolluting are the
advantages of employing fuel cells as energy source for driving a car (Jacobson et al., 2005).
However, high cost, low volumetric power density, low durability and cell life plus high
sensitivity to purity gas stream and complex operation are disadvantage of using fuel cells.
Thus, hybrid configuration of fuel cells with batteries or supercapacitors is being developed
in order to supply power for peak-power demands such as acceleration and start-up and
also recovering braking energy (Kötz et al., 2001). In fact, despite of comparable energy
density of fuel cells (100-1000
) relative to combustion engines, they have few order
of magnitude lower power densities, rendering them as steady energy source. On the other
hand, supercapacitors possess high power density comparable to combustion engines (Fig.
20). Therefore, hybrid systems of fuel cells and supercapacitors or batteries are an efficient
configuration for replacing the combustion engines. In general there are six types of fuel
cells systems including i) alkaline fuel cells ii) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
(PEFCs) iii) direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) iv) phosphoric acid fuel cells v) molten
carbonate fuel cells and vi) solid oxide fuel cells (Winter & Brodd, 2004).

Figure 20. Ragone plot of the energy storage domains for the various electrochemical energy
conversion systems compared to an internal combustion engine and turbines and conventional
capacitors (Winter & Brodd, 2004).
Although one can drive a car powered by some classes (PEFCs) of fuel cells, there are still
some challenges associated with employing them which are mostly high cost, fuel
supply/storage and life time. Generally the fuel choice is hydrogen and oxygen which finally

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 30
exhaust water. Hydrogen supplication, refuelling infrastructure and storage of hydrogen are
still ongoing challenges (Chan, 2007). Although hydrogen has very high gravimetric energy
density, its’ application hindered due to low volumetric energy density. Storing hydrogen in
liquid state require employing highly expensive cryogenic tanks (Fig. 21). Compressing
hydrogen gas also urges using costly storage facilities. There has been considerable research
to develop new materials enabling storage of hydrogen at high enough concentration at not
too high pressure and too low temperature. Initial interest was focused on metal hydrides
through chemisorptions of hydrogen (Fig. 22). However, efforts were quite unsuccessful to
synthesis metal alloys reaching to theoretical limit (~8wt%) unless some promising results
were reported for nanosized metal (oxide) composites (Arico et al., 2005). Metal alloys such
as LaNi, TiFe, MgNi are generally expensive and in all cases are heavy which makes
commercialization of products dealing with mobile applications problematical.

Figure 21. GM ElectroVAN, the first hydrogen fuel cell powered car introduced at 1966. The hydrogen
and oxygen stored in super-cooled liquid in cryogenic tank.

Figure 22. Comparison of volumetric density of different systems to store hydrogen (Schlapbach &
Zuttel, 2001)
In another set of research, the efforts are focused on physical entrapping of hydrogen in
porous materials. Physisorption of H2 allows fast loading and unloading. Nanostructured

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 31
materials are the sole candidates for this purpose. Carbon nanomaterials (Dillon et al., 1997)
and metal organic framework (MOFs) (Ce´te et al., 2005; Zhou et al., 2007) are two dominate
studied classes of materials with the goal of solid-phase storage of H2. By the advent of
carbon nanotubes at early 90s (Iijima, 1991; Iijima & Ichihashi, 1993), great deal of attention
was attracted to this novel nanomaterial. Dillon et. al. (Dillon et al., 1997) for the first time
reported high capability of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as porous media for H2
uptake, reporting 5 to 10wt% of H2 adsorbtion at ambient conditions. Chen et. al. (Chen et
al., 1999) later reported significant enhancement of H2 uptake (20wt%) of multi-walled
carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) upon doping with alkali metals at 300K and 0.1MPa. These
results were beyond the requirements that have been established by Department of Energy
(DOE) of US where gravimetric density of H2 must be at least 6wt%. However, subsequent
studies revealed that CNTs are not promising candidates for H2 uptake. The results indicate
metal doping of CNTs can enhance the H2 uptake of nanotubes, but hardly exceeds 4wt%
(Liu et al., 1999; Béguin & Frackowiak, 2006).
Novel nano-porous materials, MOFs, have been centre of attention for gas adsorbtion. These
materials are product of reaction of metals ions with rigid organic molecules (Ce´te et al.,
2005). Due to exceptionally high surface area and tunable chemical structure of MOFs, high
potential for high enough H2 uptake is envisioned. In September 2011, Daimler introduced a
concept vehicle, Mercedes-Benz F125!, which was pictured to be derived by 2025
( The most interesting technology of this conceptual car is its
source of energy which is hybrid of Li-S battery (See below for more details) and hydrogen
fuel cell. Despite current technology used in available fuel cell vehicles, liquid or compress
hydrogen, storage facility of hydrogen is based on MOFs materials in this concept vehicle.
The manufacturer claims one will be able to derive up to 1000km with maximum speed of
before it is needed to be refilled.
Although interest to fabricate solid-phase hydrogen reservoir using CNTs are now
quenched, emergence of the carbon-based thinnest materials, i.e. graphene, again revived
hopes to have carbon-based hydrogen storage tanks (Park et al., 2007; Dimitrakakis et al.,
2008; Burress et al., 2010). In fact, as the H2 storage mechanism in carbon nanostructures
relies on physisorption on graphenic surface, the hydrogen uptake is proportional to specific
surface area of nanostructure which reaches ultimate value for carbon nanostructures in
graphene (2630 m
) (Dimitrakakis et al., 2008). Researches on developing high surface
area graphene-based materials are ongoing and more time requires confirming whether
graphene-based nanoporous materials are able to solve the mystery of the hydrogen storage
or not (Subrahmanyam et al., 2011).
Another major issue which hinder widespread application of fuel cell vehicles, is high cost
associated with manufacturing them (Fig. 23). The expensive constituents of fuel cells
including the catalyst and electrolyte membrane are the origin of high cost of fuel cells
(Steele & Heinzel, 2001). In addition, performance and life time of these classes of fuel cells
(PEFC, DMFC) can be remarkably improved by nano-engineering of the catalyst and
electrolyte membrane. In fact, the commercialization of fuel cells will very much rely on the
ability to reduce the cost and improve the performance of catalyst, membrane and other

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 32
expensive parts to launch a fuel cell powered vehicle at a competitive cost and driving
capabilities (Arico et al., 2005). To reach this goal, nanotechnology plays a dominant role.

Figure 23. The challenges associated with implementing hydrogen as the next generation green fuel
including hydrogen source and production, storage infrastructure, fuel tank and high efficient fuel cells
(Tollefson, 2010).
Principally, fuel cells (PEFCs and DMFCs) operate with a polymer electrolyte membrane
which is sandwiched between cathode and anode that separate the fuel (hydrogen) from the
oxidant (air or oxygen) (Fig. 24). The performance of these low-temperature fuel cells is
mostly limited by oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) (Arico et al., 2005). The current
generations of fuel cells are utilized platinum (Pt)-based catalyst for both the oxidization of
fuel and reduction of the oxygen (Greeley et al., 2009). Several factors are motivating
researchers to replaces Pt which the high cost of this precious metal (40-70 $.g
) is one them.
In addition, this metal is so scarce (less than 0.005 p.p.m in the Earth’s crust) and about 90%
of the world’s Pt supply comes from just two countries, South Africa and Russia
( A few approach are being actively pursued with
the goal of improving the electro-catalyst activity plus lowering the overall cost. However,
these efforts have dominantly followed three major strategies including: i) improving the Pt-
based catalyst ii) developing new class of non-precious catalyst using other transition metals
and finally iii) metal-free catalyst materials.
Today Pt-carbon catalyst which are widely used in PEFCs and DMFCs, are nanoparticles of
Pt decorated on carbon support (e.g. carbon black) (Greeley et al., 2009). Pt nanoparticles’
activity increases as the particle size decreases reaching a minimum of ~3nm (Arico et al.,
2005). Rational nano-engineering of Pt alone or with other metal atoms into specific
arrangement of nanostructured alloys such as core-shell nanoparticles or nanowire
(Koenigsmann et al., 2011; Koenigsmann et al., 2012; Hong et al., 2012; Lim et al., 2009) is a
highly effective tool to synthesis new generation of catalyst if fundamentals of governing the
performance of catalyst are understood. Core-shell nanoparticles of Pt-Cu, for example, are

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 33
more active than Pt which consists of cores made of a Cu-Pt alloy and Pt-rich outer shell
(Mayrhofer et al., 2009). Such structure is obtained through a controlled dealloying the
hybrid nanoparticles. However, many challenges associated with using precious Pt-based
catalyst still remain untouched through these strategies. For instance, General Motor’s fuel-
cell set-up used around 80 grams of platinum as electrocatalyst to split hydrogen into
electrons and protons which costs roughly 5000$ (Tollefson, 2010). Although General
Motors’s officials hope to reduce the Pt loading to 30 grams in near future and less than 10
grams in the next decade, the price of catalyst would still be high considering the fact that
the Pt is so scarce.

Figure 24. Basic structure of hydrogen fuel cell in which hydrogen split into electron and proton at
anode and at cathode protons reduce oxygen exhausting water finally (Tollefson, 2010).
With the goal of achieving inexpensive catalyst for fuel cells’ application, tremendous
attempts have been done since 60s decade (Jasinski, 1964). Despite quite ineffective early
catalysts, recent developments through nanoscale engineering of nanostructured catalysts
revive the hopes to have non-precious replacement of Pt catalysts. Catalysts based on
thermally annealed precursors comprising nitrogen, carbon and transition metals, especially
Fe and Co (Fe (or Co)/N/C), have attracted more attention due to high activity and
performance (Lefevre et al., 2009; Bashyam & Zelenay, 2006; Proietti et al., 2011). This class
of catalysts consists of metal nanoparticles embedding in nanostructured nitrogen-doped
graphenic carbon (Wu et al., 2011). Metal free catalysts have been also synthesized and
evaluated as catalyst. Among them, carbon-based nanostructures are the most studied
systems. At 2009, Dai’s group (Gong et al., 2009) at Case Western University showed gas
phase N-doping of CNTs would result in a metal free electrocatalyst. After that, many
studies revealed promising performance of N-doped carbon nanomaterials such as SWNTs
(Zhang & Dai, 2012), graphene (Qu et al., 2010), mesoporous graphitic array (Liu et al., 2010)
and carbon quantum dots (Li et al., 2011), for replacing Pt-based catalysts (Gong et al., 2009;
Chen et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2011). Findings in Fe (or Co)/N/C systems and N-doped
carbon nanomaterials may be combined possibly through using CNTs or graphene as

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 34
support in Fe (or Co)/N/C catalysts instead of carbon black. However, it seems that carbon
nanomaterials would have much more contribution in the next generation of catalyst in fuel
cells than what they have in current Pt/C commercial catalysts. Rational design of
nanostructure of the so-called upcoming catalyst would be the key issue.
3.7.2. Batteries
Although fuel cell powered cars have been driven since more than 45 years ago (Fig. 21), the
current efficiency as replacing the internal combustion engines hinders widespread use of
FCV (additionally lack of hydrogen storage infrastructures and cost are real barriers)
(Turner, 2004). In addition, from practical point of view, because of low power density of
FCs, FC powered automobiles require an energy storage device to deliver required energy
in power-peak demands. As a result, currently automakers have come to this decision to
launch new versions of hybrid cars before FC cars, which has resulted to introduction of
new generation of automobiles with considerably low gasoline combustion reaching to
record less than one litre per 100 km (Demirdeven & Deutch, 2004). Therefore, at the heart of
the upcoming automobiles, energy storage devices play a key role. Batteries are blooming in
different markets and automobile industry is not an exemption. Among different classes of
batteries, lithium ion batteries have higher potential for employing in the next generation of
cars due to higher energy density, unless in the first generation of electric cars even lead-
acid batteries (for example the EV1, GM introduced 1996) and Ni-MeH (Prius, Toyota) were
used (
Similar to other batteries, Li-ion batteries also consist of cathode, electrolyte and anode (Fig.
25). Due to principles governing the electrochemistry of Li-ion batteries wide ranges of
materials can be used in this class of devices which significantly affect the cell potential,
energy density and safety of batteries (
PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=10789409). Therefore, huge amount of attention has been
attracted towards developing high performance Li-ion batteries from both academic
communities and industrial firms. The efforts are focused on improving the capacity, safety
and the charging rate. Nanoscopic materials are presumed to have great contribution in the
world’s $56 billion battery market in near future (Serrano et al., 2009).
The cathode and anode materials must be able to be intercalated with Li ions having high Li
hosting capacity and also high electron conduction (Tarascon & Armand, 2001). Among the
various materials employed as cathode for Li-ion batteries, iron (or other metal) phosphate is a
promising and safe replacing candidate for conventional cathode material, cobalt oxide (Padhi
et al., 1997). This case is interesting as nanoengineering helped a lot to see marketable version of
this material. In fact, due to the low electrical conductivity of FePO4, the energy charging rate is
very low. Unless it is found that doping with other transition metals can enhance the material’s
conductivity, FePO4-based materials found their way in marketplace when Chiang’s group at
MIT uncovered that nanosized FePO4 particles can store and deliver energy much faster than
usual size (~10 μm) due to higher surface area which facilitate intercalation of Li ions (Chung et

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 35
al., 2002; Kang & Ceder, 2009). In fact, conventional Li-ion batteries equipped with cobalt oxide
which are prone to catch fire due to thermal runaway, phosphates can be used to fabricate
larger Li-ion batteries much more suitable for automobiles. For example, Volvo 3CC concept
car, because of limitations associated with using cobalt oxide based batteries, is equipped with
3000 Li-ion cells with AA size. The safety issue can be overcome by employing phosphate-based
cathode, the technology which is being commercialized by A123 Systems (co-founded by Dr.
Chiang) which is collaborating with GM on a plug-in hybrid car, Chevy Volt (Fig. 26)

Figure 25. Basic structure of a Li-ion battery in which lithium ion intercalation into anode and cathode
during charge and discharge process, respectively, is employed to store electrochemical energy
(Tarascon & Armand, 2001).
Nanosizing the cathode and anode materials are now tremendously followed in different
battery materials (Fig. 27). Silicon, one of the most promising anode materials, may find
somewhere in market if researchers could overcome instability of this materials during
charge-discharge process through the nanostructuring of this element (Armand & Tarascon,
2008). Different nanostructures of Si such as nanoparticles (Lee et al., 2010), nanowire (Chan
et al., 2008), nanotube (Wu et al., 2012), hierarchical nanoporous structures (Magasinski et
al., 2010) and their composites with nanocarbons (Lee et al., 2010; Cui et al., 2009), have
shown to have exceptionally high capacity and stability raising hopes to have commercial
batteries with Si-based anode.
In the realm of cathode materials for Li-based batteries, sulfur boosts the capacity of Li-ion
batteries with one order of magnitude higher theoretical capacitance (Peramunage & Licht,
1993). Therefore, the Li-S batteries may succeed Li-ion batteries as their energy density is
extremely high plus low cost and density of sulfur (Kang et al., 2006). However, its capacity
fades away during charge-discharge of the cell due to polysulfide ions (the reaction
intermediates) dissolution in electrolyte causes irreversible loss of active materials
diminishing the capacitance few times lower than theoretical value. At 2009, by employing

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 36
an innovative technique through the nanostructuring the sulfur inside the mesoporous
carbon, capacitances near the theoretical limits were attained (Ji et al., 2009). After that,
different carbon nanostructures such as hollow carbon nanofibers (Zheng et al., 2011),
graphene oxide (Ji et al., 2011) and pyrolzed PAN/graphene (Yin et al., 2012) were used to
immobilize sulfur. This class of batteries (Li-S) would find market in automobile industries
as also claimed by Daimler in its concept vehicles, Mercedes-Benz F125! having exceptional
high range of 1000km (Fig. 28) (

Figure 26. Chery Volt, a plug-in hybrid car, was introduced by GM. The automaker is trying to use
safer nanophosphate-based batteries

Figure 27. Nanotechnology will make batteries with higher energy density which charge faster than
current Li-ion batteries (Serrano et al., 2009).

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 37

Figure 28. Mercedes-Benz F125! the concept vehicle introduce by Daimler at 2011 equipped with
advanced technology in energy storage including high performance Li-S batteries having power density
of 350
(energy capacity 10 kWh) and revolutionary ultra-porous MOFs technology (104 m
making it possible to store 7.5 kg of H2 in a flexible framework. All these technologies owe a lot to
nanoscience and technology (
3.7.3. Supercapacitors
Despite of advantages of using batteries as energy storage device in hybrid cars including
high energy density, challenges associated with employing batteries especially timely
recharging, safety and lifetime bring the another electrochemical storage device as candidate
for the same purpose, i.e. supercapacitors. Supercapacitors store energy by forming a double
layer of electrolyte ions on the surface of conductive electrodes, called EDLCs (Miller &
Simon, 2008). The widespread applications of supercapacitors are limited by their low
energy density (1-5 Wh/kg) comparing to batteries (10-500
) and as a result high cost
of energy storage. But the fact that supercapacitors can be charged and discharged in less
than a minute over a million cycles motivates scientific communities to enhance energy
density of supercapacitors (Simon & Gogotsi, 2008; Chmiola et al., 2006). It is envisioned at
energy density of 40 Wh/kg, the supercapacitors would be an improvement over the
batteries used in some hybrid vehicles. In addition, the concept of supercapacitor powered
urban bus which recharge at each bus stop in a minute is another intriguing idea (Fig. 29,
left side).
At the heart of the current EDLCs, nanoporous carbon acts as electrode. To improve the
energy density of supercapacitors, different nanomaterials such as MWNTs (Frackowiak et
al., 2000), SWNTs (Kaempgen et al., 2009), metal oxide nanoparticles (Hu et al., 2006) and
conducting polymers (Zhang et al., 2010) (two later cases are classified as pseudo-
capacitors), have been used but high cost of nanotubes and some metal oxide (e.g. RuO2) and
poor stability of pseudo-capacitors render them not enough efficient storage device.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 38
Emergence of graphene has revolutionized this field, as this material is the thinnest
imaginable carbon allotrope (Fig. 29, right side) (Stoller et al., 2008). The graphene-based
pseudo-capacitors are still in infancy stage, but initial results confirm high capacity of
graphene-based EDLCs having improved energy density. At May 2011, Ruoff’s group (Zhu
et al., 2011) at university of Texas-Austin claimed they have developed graphene-based
EDLCs through an industrial viable method having energy density of 75
which is
more than one order magnitude higher than conventional supercapacitors. It is foreseen by
2020, half of graphene’s market (~ $675 million) belongs to supercapacitors which clearly
illustrate the impact of graphene-based materials on this field
( It should be noted that hybrid
systems of batteries and supercapacitors are indentified as the most effective and reliable
solution for applications where lifecycle and reliability are vital including cars

Figure 29. Left side: Sinautec's Ultracapacitor Bus, an urban bus powered by on-board supercapacitors
and batteries which charged at bus stop. Right side: a conventional set-up for supercapacitors in which
forming a double layer of electrolyte ions on the surface of high surface area conductive electrodes store
energy (Stoller et al., 2008).
At June 2010, researchers at MIT introduced new concept of energy storage device, having
both high density (comparable to Li-ion batteries) and power density (even higher than
supercapacitors) (Lee et al., 2010). Again nanocarbons did excellent as electrode. The whole
idea was to exchange Li ions between the surfaces of two nanostructured carbon electrode
having functional groups (Jang et al., 2011). In fact, charging of Li-ion batteries is timely
because Li ions must intercalate into cathode and anode which takes time. This strategy to
store energy may be implemented in next generation of automobiles but further
investigation are required to clarify the exact chemistry governing the device and also
confirm feasibility and other issues.
3.8. Nanotechnology in solar cell in automobile
Solar cells are used to produce electricity from sunlight. This system has been gradually
developed in different industries as it is an environmentally benign method of producing

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 39
electricity and helps industries to reduce fuel consumption. In recent years, research to find new
sources of energy in automobiles are being carried out (Levitsky et al., 2010, Ong et al., 2010).
It has been found that solar cells can be used as an additional source of energy supporting
some of electronic devices used in an automobile. Silica-based solar system is a conventional
system for producing electricity from sunlight. However, production and large scale use of
this system is complicated and costly. Therefore, attempts have been carried out to produce
new solar system usable for automobile economically. In silicon based solar cells, the
electron needed will be supplied by silicon after exposure to sunlight. The produced
electron can be transferred to semiconductors from electrodes. In solar cells, an organic
material like chlorophyll can be used as substrate. A large surface area layer based on
nanoporous titanium oxide is used for the transmission to the electrodes. This system as
shown in Fig. 30 consists of two glass plates each of them have a transparent electrode
(Levitsky et al., 2010, Ong et al., 2010).

Figure 30. Solar cells based on nanotechnology for modern cars.
As it can be seen in Fig. 30, one of the plates covered with layer of dye-sensitive titanium
oxide and another one is coated with platinum as catalyst. However, in conventional silicon-
based solar cells, the efficiency is low due to light reflection at the solar glass pan. The
reduction is approximately 10 percent for even high efficiency solar cells. This problem has
been solved in new generation of solar cells using sol-gel method. Using this technique, a
coating layer is applied over the glass pans. This coating could reduce light reflection from
glass pans resulting in an increase in solar cell efficiency up to 6 percent. The sol used for
this purpose includes a mixture of silica balls at two different sizes. To obtain best anti-
reflective properties from coating, mixture of particles with diameter of 10 nm and 30 nm
should be used. In order to apply coating layer over the cells, the glass pans should be
immersed in the tank containing nano SiO2 sol. The optimum antireflective properties can be
obtained at 120 nm thickness. The sol becomes dry using gel and nanoporous layer can be
obtained after hardening glass coated pans at 600-700 °C. This novel coating layer has very
low refractive index (of only 1.25) resulting in light reflection at 400-2500 nm. In this way,
solar transmission will be increased from 90 percent for conventional one to 95 percent for
this solar cell (Levitsky et al., 2010, Ong et al., 2010).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 40
3.9. Nanotechnology based catalyst for reduction of exhaust emission
Todays, environmental regulations forced car producers to reduce exhaust emission of
automobiles. Using new generations of fuels can be one way achieving this target. However,
at this time, technology needed for large scale production of fuel has not been developed
maturely. Use of catalysts is a conventional approach reducing exhaust emission. These
catalysts are made of high-grade steel housings containing catalytically active materials.
These active materials are able to convert exhaust pollutants to nitrogen, steam, and carbon
dioxide. Three most important polluting elements that exhaust included carbon monoxide,
hydrocarbons and nitric oxides. To eliminate or reduce these pollutants emission from
exhaust gas, three kinds of catalysts are needed. Nanotechnology can play an important role
in converting toxic pollutants to non-toxic gases. It is well known that increasing surface
area of catalyst enhance its catalytic activity. Designing catalytic materials to absorb nitric
oxides from exhausted gas has become a big challenge for car manufacturers. To solve this
problem, new generation of catalyst with high capability of NOx-absorbing are developed.
The mechanism by which this system works is presented in Fig. 31 (Hvolbk et al., 2007, Kim
et al., 2006, Nilsson et al., 2005, Zhou et al., 2010).

Figure 31. Three-way nano-structured catalyst for cleaning exhaust from pollutants (Hvolbk et al., 2005).
Recent researches revealed that Au nanoparticles having sizes lower than 5 nm are very
effective catalysts. There are many different mechanisms indicating catalytic activity of nano

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 41
sized Au particles. The most important of them are the quantum size effects, charge transfer
to or from the support or support induced strain, oxygen spill-over to or from the support,
oxidation state of Au and the role of very low-coordinated Au atoms in nanoparticles. The
metal nobility depends on the metal surface ability to oxidize or chemisorption of oxygen.
From periodic table of elements, Au is the only metal with endothermic chemisorption
energy. Because of this behavior, Au is a metal which could not bind with oxygen at all. Au
is a very good catalyst for oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) presented in exhausted gas in
automobile. The activity of Au depends on particle size as the best activity can be seen at
particle sizes < 5 nm (Hvolbk et al., 2005).
3.10. Ultra-reflecting layer for automobile mirror
3.10.1. Mirrors with high optical and self-cleaning properties
New generation of mirrors and headlights used in cars are based on glass and polymer
components with high optical quality and efficiency. Nanotechnology is employed to
achieve these unique properties. To this end, ultra-reflecting thin layer (with thickness lower
than 100 nm) based on aluminum oxide can be applied over the surface of mirrors or
headlights. Applying ultra-thin layers over the mirrors can also help us to equip surfaces
with fat, dirt water and repellent features. Using chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
technique, nanometric hydrophobic and oelophobic layers can be applied over the surface of
mirrors. It has been found that fluoro-organic materials are able to improve hydrophobicity
and oelophobicity of the surface at thicknesses of 5-10 nm. This nanometric layer could also
produce smooth surface which impurities like water drop, dirt, oil and fingerprints can be
easily cleaned. This ultra-thin layer has high resistance against friction and makes it
applicable at longer times. As it can be seen in Fig. 32, the layer could chemically bonded to
the surface of mirror from the side consisting anchor groups. The chemical groups at other
side of the layer produce hydrophobic surface.

Figure 32. The composition of ultra-reflecting layers used on modern mirrors.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 42
3.10.2. Anti-glare rear mirrors
Nowadays, safety regulations for car drivers lead to produce rear view mirrors to obtain an
appropriate view at dawn and dusk. This can be done by equipping glasses with functional
layer composite with electrochromic properties. For the glasses equipped with this
technology, the optical properties will be changed by applying a certain voltage which
moves the charges to intermediate layer. The incoming light will be absorbed by color
centers produced by ions at the electrodes. As a result, small quantity of light will be
reflected (Fig. 33).

Figure 33. The conventional mirrors (a) and modern anti-glare rear mirrors for cars (b).
Like charging and discharging of a car battery, the glass can get back to its original
properties as the pole changes. This glass equipped by a rear sensor which could measure
and control the glaring light of following vehicles. As soon as the glaring light disappears,
the mirror gets back to original state.
3.11. Nano-filters for air cleaning
In addition to safety improvement and fuel consumption reduction, the enhancing comfort for
customers is of importance. The air quality inside the car is an important factor affecting
customers comfort. The air inside cars contains particles and gaseous pollutions which need to
be filtered. Achieving this target needs equipping cars with high quality interior air filters with
high efficiency of pollens, spores and industrial dusts filtration. This filter could be used at
variable temperature (-40 °C to 100 °C) and humid conditions. Nanofibers are utilized to
produce novel filters with superior properties compared with conventional filters (Fig. 34).
For the fibers in nanometric range size the classical fluid dynamic laws is not true anymore.
Because of the lower air resistance of nanofibers compared with micron-sized fibers, air can

The Role of Nanotechnology in Automotive Industries 43
be transported through filter easier with lower air pressure loss. This shows that the new
filter work at lower level of energy.
This technology is also applied for soot filters. Using nanofibers in soot filters, the emission
of pollutants in passengers and utility cars will be reduced. Using nanofilters, the dirt
particles could not adhere to the foam materials used at roof of car and prevent polluting it.

Figure 34. Nano-filters for air cleaning in car interior.
Author details
Mohsen Mohseni, Bahram Ramezanzadeh, Hossein Yari and Mohsen Moazzami Gudarzi
Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran
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Chapter 2
Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings
Horst Hintze-Bruening and Fabrice Leroux
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
The function of automotive coatings so far has been twofold – decoration and
conservation. The former not only consists of providing a coloured and smooth surface
but also to accentuate the shape of the car body via a viewing angle dependant
brightness and / or colour. These optical effects mostly rely on tiny mirrors of metal
flakes like aluminium or coated mica platelets that are more or less homogeneously
dispersed within one coating layer; their surface normal predominantly being orthogonal
to the substrates surface. The particles lateral dimensions typically are in the order of
several hundred microns. The role of the coatings in the conservation of a metallic car
body mainly consists in the protection of the substrate towards electrochemical
degradation (= corrosion) either actively or via providing a barrier layer as well as a best
possible limitation of the coatings defects produced in the wake of dramatic mechanical
perturbations like impacting gravel stones. On the contrary mounted plastic parts or
body panels in most cases have to be protected against chemical degradation triggered
by exposure to UV light, physical erosion by swelling solvents like fuel or water
depending on the nature of the polymers and the morphology of the bulk as well as
towards catastrophic failure of the part upon mechanical impacts (= brittle crash
behaviour). The means to achieve the latter are similar to those that are used in the
design of stone chip resistant coatings for car bodies.
The present chapter describes the potential use of nano scaled particles based polymer
composites as multifunctional constituents for novel protective as well as decorative
automotive coatings. The focus lies on composites based on layered particles, namely
layered double hydroxides (= LDH), their beneficial mechanical modes of action for energy
dissipation, their diffusion barrier properties as well as their role in the active corrosion
inhibition. For other coatings related applications of these materials we refer to a separate
review article (Leroux et al., 2012).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 56
2. Background
2.1. Automotive coatings
Since the industrialization of the car manufacturing process today's automotive coatings
have been optimized in an evolutionary process over the past decades resulting in a typical
stack of highly specialized individual coating layers (Fig. 1). This comprises an initially
cathodic electrodeposited material that provides adhesion and active corrosion inhibition
(ED coat) which then is covered by a spray coated layer (= primer) for the smoothening and
protection of the ED coat towards UV light. On to the primer surface two layers are
consecutively spray applied: first a "base coat" that provides the colour followed by a
transparent top coat (= clear coat) which renders the whole system bright, smooth as well as
resistant towards chemicals (bird droppings, tar, rosin, acid rain) and surface related
mechanical impact like the scratching in the course of car washing. Except for the base coat
itself all other layers are chemically cured after physical drying and film formation which
implies that the car body has to pass three bake cycles up to 170°C (ED) or 140°C (combined
base and clear layer).

Figure 1. Automotive coating system applied on pretreated metal.
In order to render this coating process more eco-efficient some novel coating systems
recently have been introduced which comprise stacks with a reduced number of layers, e.g.
without the primer (Fig. 2), (Kreis, 2008). Under critical conditions such lean coatings reveal
an insufficient capability to maintain the high level of performance of their technically more
mature predecessors.
This is the setting for the development of new material concepts that may provide solutions
capable to overcome the constraints inherent to these recent coatings systems which are still
essentially based on the conventional technologies. With respect to the automotive coatings
conservation functionality it has to be pointed out that – contrary to that what is sometimes
suggested by textbooks and patent claims – some features are not attributed exclusively to
one single layer, e.g. the relation of the primer layers properties and the stone chip

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 57
resistance of the coating. Thus, although typically tested and introduced within one coating
layer, the potential use of the described new materials concepts should not be considered to
be restricted to these prototypes, substrates and applications respectively.

Figure 2. Conventional automotive coating process compared to novel integrated coating.
2.2. Stone impact
Gravel stone impingement is an occasional though dramatic event in the lifetime of an
automotive body or mounted part and has intensively been studied (Zehnder et al., 1993;
Ramamurthy et al., 1994; Zouari & Touratier, 2002; Lonyuk et al., 2007).
Regarding the physical processes occurring in a coating system there are three common
basic features aside from all conceivable differences in terms of inclination angle, kinetic
energy (up to 100 m/s, mass of projectiles up to several grams) as well as the shape
(curvature radius) of the projectile:
1. Short time scales (micro seconds) and a very limited impact area smaller than one mm²
are the features of an adiabatic process which yields a local heating (up to 10²K) and a
propagating shock wave.
2. A central compression area where the substrate plastically might deform and the
coating material gets crunched is surrounded by a strained zone due to the lateral
displacement of the coating material by the impinging projectile – thus shear stress in a
transition zone causes coatings delamination.
3. The volume of laterally displaced coating material reaches its maximum towards the
coatings surface – thus within the highly cross linked top coat which can least
accommodate by plastic flow. Hence compressive and tensile stresses (depending on
the inclination angle and shape of the object) yield crack initiation within this layer and
crack propagation throughout the entire coating system.
This simplified scenario varies with different impact events as evidenced by comparing an
orthogonal crush of a blunt object (infinite curvature radius) with the orthogonal “denting”
of spiky or edged gravel or with the inclined “carving” by an edged impinging projectile
(Dhar et al., 2005). Figure 3a shows the crater produced by a single spherical impact. Radial
and concentric cracks as well as plastically flown coatings material encircle a central spot of

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 58
crunched coating. The plastically deformed metal substrate and the coatings delamination at
the interface with the conversion layer (bonder) is displayed after the removal of the
damaged coating material using an adhesive tape (Figure 3b). In real life gravel stones are
irregularly formed and they may impact under all conceivable inclination angles. Thus all
coatings damage symptoms between "denting" and "carving" are summarized as "stone

Figure 3. Impact crater on a coated test panel after an orthogonal single spherical impact (steel, 0,03g,
d= 2mm, v = 70 m/s, T = 273K) before (a) and after (b) removal of damaged coating. Scale bars are
200μm (a) and 1mm (b).
Standardized test methods have been established to assess the resistance of a coated work-
piece against stone chipping. They consist of multiple impacts of accelerated gravels or steel
grit particles on a defined area of a coated panel and a subsequent visual rating of the
damage as well as a standardized image data processing of the exposed area. This latter
procedure allows for the assessment of the area percentages of the uncovered substrate as
well as the interfacial and cohesive fracture planes within the coating itself, provided
appropriate thresholds can be defined to differentiate between these fracture sites. For the
allocation of the uncovered metal surface the panel is immersed into a copper salt solution
in order to get deposited elemental copper. Some tests specify that the impacted panels are
exposed to aggressive environments in order to provoke the corrosion of the substrate
which predominantly sets in at those damaged spots that bear bare metal surface.
The ratio of flow and cracking as well as the extent of the delamination zone depend on the
film thickness and of the materials properties like the glass transition temperature (Lonyuk
et al., 2008), the crosslink density (Bender, 1969), the interlayer adhesive strength (Ryntz et
al, 1995) and finally the coatings morphology.
The importance of the latter has recently been highlighted with respect to the “conflicts
between strength and toughness” in terms of the intrinsic fracture mechanics operating
ahead the tip of a promoting crack (Ritchie, 2011). Making reference to hierarchical materials
the author outlines the possibility to “attain both properties in a single material through the
presence of multiple plasticity and toughening mechanisms acting on different length-

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 59
scales”. Within section 3.2. of this chapter we describe possibilities to translate these design
principles into stone impact resistant coating materials that are based on multiple scale
2.3. Automotive primer
Besides the smoothening and the protection of the ED coating layer against UV light the
stone chip resistance of an automotive coating system is often attributed to the primer layer.
Although the failure mode of any multilayer coating upon such a mechanical impact also
depends on the characteristics of all individual layers (Dioh & Williams, 1994; Rutherford et
al., 1997) the typical composition as well as the morphology of an automotive primer layer
are somehow appropriate to mitigate the action of propagating cracks as well as the
dislocation and crushing of the material.
In the first instance the organic fraction typically consists of weakly cross linked rather high
molecular weight polymers that are bearing sites for hydrogen bonding. By a proper choice
of the polyisocyanates as well as the polyols and / or the polyamines – the complementary
reactants that yield polyurethanes or polyureas respectively via a step growth poly addition
reaction – bulk materials can be obtained that segregate into rigid domains bearing
hydrogen bonds between adjacent urethane / urea building blocks and soft domains linking
the former. These soft segments typically consist of polyether diols or polyester diols that
possess a high segment flexibility – which manifests in a low glass transition temperature
(Tg). This flexibility in combination with the reversible breaking and formation of hydrogen
bonds provides a pronounced toughness to the polymer phase. These polymers usually
comprise rather low functionalities for chemical cross linking like hydroxyl groups. Typical
values for “hydroxyl numbers”
are below 50 distributed over largely uneven chain lengths
with mean molecular weights (Mn) in the order of 10

and typical polydispersity
(Mw/Mn) between 3 and 4. Therefore it is common to use them in admixture with
more resinous hydroxyl functional polymers like polyesters and / or in combination with
crosslinking agents like alkoxylated melamine formaldehyde resins. Under acid catalysis
and with increasing temperature the latter either react with the hydroxyl groups of the former
or they self-polymerize via transetherification. Depending on the overall formulation and the
presence of internal interfaces due the presence of e.g. pigment particles the self-condensation
of the MF resin may yield an additional heterogeneity of the polymer phase due to a
pronounced anisotropic alignment of the aromatic melamine cores. This was also found to
form hierarchical ordered structures over several length scales in the heterophasic self-
condensation of hexamethoxy melamine formaldehyde resin in water (Weber et al., 2009).
Besides the intrinsic toughness of the polymer phase stemming from the main chain segment
flexibility and the intermolecular formation of reversible hydrogen bonds which favour plastic

Hydroxyl- as well as acid numbers are defined as the amount of potassium hydroxide that would be consumed for
the neutralization of these Brønstedt acids present within one gram of the solid (= nonvolatile) material. They are given
as ”mg KOH/g“.
Mean mass molecular weight (Mw) and mean number molecular weight (Mn) of polymers to be obtained from e.g.
size exclusion chromatography.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 60
deformation the heterogenization of the polymer phase due to segregation and polymer
incompatibility might impede both crack initiation and propagation. This is well known from
the impact behaviour of plastic parts where a more rigid mostly continuous phase imparts a
soft second polymer phase as an impact modifier and the particular morphology of
bicontinuous polymer phases was proposed as beneficial for stone impact resistant automotive
primer layers (Makowski et al., 2005). The softer phase is attributed to release stress at the tip
of cracks by stress reallocation and dissemination. Thus the softest conceivable material would
be an included gaseous phase as nearly everyone’s mundane experience with polymer foams
or materials scientists work in the field of tough porous ceramics expressively attest (Studart et
al., 2006). Indeed breakable hollow spheres have been proposed as impact modifying loci for
stone chip resistant coatings (Roesler et al., 1997).
However these polymer matrices normally are filled with rather high amounts of inorganic
pigments like titania (TiO2), barite (BaSO4) and fillers like precipitated calcium carbonate
(CaCO3) and talc (layered silicate minerals) – the particle sizes of the latter being in the
micrometre range. In the course of a stone impact event such a composite mechanically
dissipates energy via the damping of a traversing shock wave where the conservation of
momentum commensurate to the mass, acts as a ballast bed via interlocking coarse particles
thus disseminating stress or it fails at predetermined breaking points respectively. This
latter manifests in the fracture surface of primer layers that comprise such clay minerals like
talc or chlorite which can easily be cleaved upon shear stress or by the peak stress at a crack
tip because just weak van der Waals forces are acting between adjacent silicate layers (fig. 4).

Figure 4. SEM picture shows a section of an impact crater. Smoothly cleaved talc particles led to
cohesive failure of the conventionally pigmented automotive primer layer. Smaller white particles refer
to titania, barite and calcite. Scale bar is 1 μm.
The physico-chemical principles described so far are all related to the properties of the solid
coating layers. However with respect to the coatings design outlined in chapter 3 it has to be
noted that the liquid coating materials – except for the ED coating which is exclusively a
waterbone system – may either be solvent or water based. Whereas the vast majority of top

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 61
clear coat materials still is based on organic polymer solutions (plus cross linker and
additives) the base coat and the primer are increasingly formulated as aqueous coatings in
order to minimize the amounts of volatile organic compounds and thus fulfilling ecological
and environmental regulations. However the notion “aqueous” implies that such
formulations still comprise certain levels of organic solvents which by the majority are
partly or completely miscible with water at ambient conditions.
2.4. Metal corrosion
Metal corrosion results from a redox reaction system constituted by three elements: an
anodic site with an excess of electrons produced by the release of an equivalent amount of
metal cations into the environment (= metal oxidation), a cathode where electrons are
reducing either ions or water (reactants being O2, H2O or H
) thus releasing the
corresponding reaction products like hydroxyl ions or molecular hydrogen respectively and
an electrolyte as a conductive medium that enables an ionic current to flow thus ensuring
electrical short-cut and a charge balance (fig. 5). The simultaneous presence of all three
components and a perpetuate supply of the reactants is needed to maintain the currents and
to degrade the anode material. Corrosion protection of non noble metal substrates requires
that at least one of these elements becomes inhibited or at least significantly retarded. Active
corrosion inhibition implies that a component from the environment (electrolyte,
pretreatment, coating) interacts either with the substrate, the metal cations or the reduction
products and that the reaction product forms an insoluble, stable layer or a deposit which
impedes a further reaction at the respective electrode(s). On the contrary passive corrosion
inhibition denotes the function of an applied coating to provide an effective diffusion barrier
against water and ions from the environment thus isolating the corrosion sites from the
electrolyte or retarding the formation of effective ion conductivity respectively.

Figure 5. Anodic and cathodic corrosion process at defects on coated metal substrate (the green line
symbolizes a conversion layer). Reaction of Me
with water may lead to precipitation of Me(OH)n and a
local decrease of the pH value

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 62
There exist numerous techniques which have been used to investigate the electrochemical
reactions occurring in the course of corrosion as well as to follow changes of the electrical
resistance of a coated substrate. These analytical probes enable to determine electrochemical
characteristics like the corrosion potential (Ecorr), the corrosion current density (Icorr), the
polarization resistance (Rp), the electrochemical noise resistance (Rn), the open circuit
potential (EOCV) by either polarizing the system (DC polarization, cyclic voltammetry),
recording current and voltage fluctuations between two samples (electrochemical noise) or
by following an open circuit potential of an immersed sample while the electrolyte is
changed. Changing environmental conditions as well as progressing corrosion processes
also alter the complex electrical resistivity of a coated sample which can be monitored with
the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy which indirectly allows insights related to the
evolution of the coatings barrier and self-healing properties or of the destabilization of the
substrate coating interface. The locally resolved monitoring of corrosion allows the Scanning
Vibrating Electrode Technique (SVET) by detecting gradients of the corrosion potential at
the metal surface exposed to the corrosive medium. Similarly the Scanning Kelvin Probe
(SKP) measures electrode potentials non-destructively at buried interfaces of a coated metal
substrate and additionally displays the topography of the samples surface.
By coupling electrochemical techniques with chemical analysis of dissolved species within the
electrolyte using e.g. ICP and / or the chemical nature of the exposed substrates surface during
and after the exposure further valuable insights into the corrosion mechanism especially the
role of the involved layers as well as the corrosion products can be obtained (Volovitch et al.,
2011). Thus it could in principle be possible to quantitatively link stoichiometry (ratio of
transferred electrons to converted chemical species) with corrosion rates.
Other tests evaluate and rate the corrosion resistance of coated samples by visual inspection
of coated and in most cases marred (= scribed or stone impacted) specimen after an exposure
to aggressive environments, either natural ones (e.g. maritime locations, industrialized
districts) or artificial set-ups, the latter known as accelerated tests that are described by
detailed protocols.
2.5. Corrosion protection
In the automotive industry the metals that are used for the manufacturing of the body or the
body panels and framework reflect a vast variety of approaches towards lightweight
construction, safety enhancement as well as an increased degree of freedom in the
automotive design. Thus a broad variety of different metals and intermetallic alloys have
been developed based on steel, zinc coated steel, aluminium and magnesium.
Most natural oxide or oxide-hydroxide passivation layers at the surface of these metals or
alloys do not exhibit a sufficient resistance towards chemical degradation under those harsh
environmental conditions often formed in the course of the corrosion processes. Another
aspect is the fact that even the surface of a metal substrate consisting of only one single
metal does not present a chemically homogeneous surface. First the solidification of the

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 63
metal melt in the course of the substrates manufacturing proceeds via a seed growth
mechanism yielding a final patchwork of metal grains separated by grain boundaries.
Second the crystallized grains may expose different crystal planes with respect to their
topological hkl systematic towards the surface as well as at defect structures and grain
boundaries. These normally translate into different topological crystal planes of the oxide
passivation layer. The different crystal planes expose a different metal coordination chemistry
and hence a different chemical reactivity to the surface. Although not yet scaled to industrial
processes a recently published approach proposes a pretreatment process that addresses the
grain boundary selective deposition of polymer colloids from aqueous solutions on zinc coated
and acid activated steel panels (Hintze-Bruening et al., 2011). The stabilizing anionic groups of
the particles complex metal ions liberated from anodic reactions. Their concentration varies
locally being highest in the vicinity of the grain boundaries thus yielding to a local selective
destabilization and deposition of the polymer particles.
Another aspect relevant to corrosion protection stems from the fact that nearly every thick
organic coating system may comprises some flaws like pores, pinholes and cracks on the
micrometer scale as well as a locally varying cross-link density in the case of reactive
systems. Additionally in highly filled pigmented coatings diffusion channels for aqueous
solutions might be present, e.g. along polar interfaces or electric double layers at the surface
of percolating pigment or filler particles, as well as capillary forces. Thus, before applying
such coatings the metal surface or the passivation layer should be treated or replaced
respectively in order to obtain a thin stable layer on the nano- to micro-meter scale, the
conversion coating. These are formed on the substrates surface via a “pretreatment”, a
coating process normally comprising the cleansing (e.g. degreasing), an activation step (e.g.
chemical dissolution to remove the native passivation layer) and finally the deposition of the
conversion layer. As described above the common principle is to better protect the bare
metal substrate against corrosion. However in many cases the conversion layer also
provides a less polar and less smooth surface as the pristine substrate which in turn
facilitates the adhesion of subsequently applied organic coating layers, either via mechanical
anchoring or by specific molecular interactions or by both phenomena. Thus the
bonderizing also known as phosphatization of steel and zinc coated steel comprises the
precipitation of transition metal phosphates, e.g. the trication phosphatiszation forms zinc,
nickel and manganese phosphates. These grow as coarse randomly oriented platelets from
the metal surface leaving sufficient uncovered metal areas to ensure the electric conductivity
which is needed for the cathodic reaction to take place in the subsequently applied cathodic
electrodeposition paint process.
Indeed for this still most abundant metal substrate of
automotive manufacturing the combined bonderizing and cathodic electrodeposition
coating has become a mature effective corrosion preventing technology which is inter alia
reflected in ever increasing time limits of the warranty issued by the car manufactures.

The formed hydroxyl anions neutralize the organic acids that have been used for the formation of ammonium
cationic groups by neutralizing tertiary amine bearing epoxy polymers. Hence the latter lose their colloidal stability
and precipitate onto the metal surface of the automotive body. Aromatic moieties within the polymer backbone are
supposed to interact effectively with the metal surface.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 64
Such pretreatment may take place either as a continuous process in a coil coating line (e.g.
zinc coating on steel, the passivation of aluminium with chromates) or subsequently on
individual body panels or of the assembled automotive body respectively.
For nearly all other metal substrates but particularly for aluminium based parts the most
effective corrosion inhibition system in the past was based on chromium associated in its
hexavalent oxidation state (Cr
), the active species CrO4
being slowly liberated from
essentially insoluble strontium or barium salts up to their solubility limit under humid
conditions, e.g. a coatings defect or water saturated coating. In the case of a starting
corrosion process an insoluble and adherent layer of prevalently trivalent chromium
comprising hydroxide forms on the substrate surface. Due to matching lattice parameters
and the dielectric nature of the hydroxide layer both further metal dissolution as well as the
cathodic reactions are effectively inhibited. However due its carcinogenic potential and
environmental impact the use of this passivation has been banned by the Directive
2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of September 18, 2000. Therefore
the development of chromate-free anti-corrosion coatings has become an ever growing
research topic. Basically relying on the same principle, namely the slow release of oxoanions
near a coatings damage and precipitation of a passivation or barrier layer as is the case of
chromate and phosphate for aluminium and steel respectively, recent approaches to provide
chromate substitutes have been introduced as “self-healing” concepts comprising the
triggered release of corrosion inhibiting agents from depots imparted in the coating system.
2.6. Self-healing concepts
In the recent past the investigation of self-healing coatings has gained considerable attraction
and even government-funded joint research initiatives like the European MUST program have
been installed in order to provide the basis for future technical solutions. Common to all is the
notion to furnish a coating system with depots of chemical active compounds which are
released upon either a physical impact like mechanical stress, temperature or UV light or a
chemical stimulus like a change of the pH value of the surrounding or the exposure to other
species like water or ions. The chemicals imparted within the depots might either be active
corrosion inhibiting compounds (e.g. ligands for substrate metals, precursor for passivation
layers) or chemical reactants like monomers optionally along with cross-linkers or initiators
which are thought to refill a void in the coating layer formed upon e.g. mechanical impact.
However concerning the design of the host material a plethora of different approaches have
been proposed. They span from sol-gel chemistry over micellar particles, Pickering particles,
hard polymer capsules, sand-wiched shells of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, porous
minerals or oxides, tubular and layered clay minerals to hierarchically assembled frameworks.
Regarding the different length scales covered as well as the different chemical stabilities of
these materials it is obvious that some of these host architectures may be prone to different or
even complementary trigger for release than others (e.g. hard polymer versus polyelectrolyte
based capsules) or may provide additional benefits like an efficient diffusion barrier as it is the
case of layered clay particles (table 1).

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 65
System / Trigger Cl
Δ pH H2O Δ T mech. light chem.
no host
layered particles
rigid polymers
Pickering particles
Table 1. Encapsulation systems and responsiveness towards stimuli compared to the direct addition of
the inhibitor species into the matrix (= no host). This survey is loosely based on: Hughes et al., 2010.
In terms of container geometry the prevalent conception comprised discrete capsules
dispersed in a polymer matrix. However with respect to rather thin layers in automotive
coatings the overall dimensions of such depots and thus the amount of releasable
components is very limited. Less relevant for corrosion inhibiting species which have to
address a limited and in most cases moving interface or surface this aspect in particular
affects the potential use for the self-repair of voids especially if larger defects from stone
chipping are considered. In this context other coatings morphologies might be worth to be
pursued where the depot extends over – theoretically – the whole coatings volume, e.g. by
micro vascular networks which could either supply larger amounts of the repair system to
one location or smaller amounts to the very same location if it comes to repeated damage.
Filled fibres (Pang & Bond, 2005) and micro lithographic techniques (Toohey et al., 2009)
have been proposed for the realization of such extended reservoirs in coatings.
Other self-repair systems target the curability (mendability) of smaller defects like fissures
and cracks while maintaining an in principle cross-linked material via “photo-plasticity”.
This concept implies the presence of photoactive polymer groups which – attached to the
polymer backbone – might cleave upon UV exposure, rearrange and form new covalent
bonds with other “dangling” reactive polymer ends or side groups. This can also be coupled
with other functional groups attached to the polymer chains which are prone to mechanical
stress and yield reactive groups complementary to those from the photo induced scission
(Gosh & Urban, 2009). Such photoactive systems could react to tiny fissures that are formed
within the organic coating due to residual stress present from the coatings processing in
combination with a stress build-up over time via e.g. cyclic exposure to different environ-
ments with respect to temperature, humidity, chemicals and UV radiation
. Regular
exposure of an automotive to sunlight thus could help to maintain the coatings barrier
function over time by impeding the formation of larger crack or fracture.

Shorter wave length UV radiation is known to induce the formation of radicals as well as aggressive oxygen species
O2) that trigger cascades of reactions leading to cross linking as well as chain scission. Hence embrittlement as
well as polymer degradation may occur contemporaneously and/or successively and optionally spatially separated
depending on the formulation, physical properties and morphology as well as exposure parameters.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 66
Within the present chapter we will in the following focus on the aspect self-healing of active
electrochemical sites on the substrate by using lateral extended inorganic particles capable to
form nano composites as well as to release active corrosion inhibiting species via ion exchange.
2.7. Polymer nano composites
Following pioneering research on clay-organic intercalates (Lagaly et al., 1973, 1975; Lagaly,
1981) it was in the late 1980s that Toyota’s R&D work on Montmorillonite polyamide com-
posites (Fukushima et al., 1988) triggered extensive research and application related work in
the field of polymer intercalated and exfoliated layered particles. The morphologies
compared to a composite comprising the aggregated counterpart are shown in figure 6.
These were supposed to impart strength and thermal stability as well as a diffusion barrier
to the polymer at comparatively low loadings with the inorganic particles of 5 – 10 weight
per cent. Consequently they have also been proposed as new materials for automotive
applications, however not in the context of coatings (Garcés et al., 2000). The vast majority of
composites have been based on Smectite clays and Montmorillonite in particular. Each
platelet of this natural clay that is essentially constituting the mineral Bentonite consists of a
central layer of aluminium and magnesium cations octahedral coordinated with hydroxyl
anions covered on both sides by a layer of silica tetrahedrons: {Al1,67Mg0,33(OH)2[Si4O10]}. The
net negative charge of the overall structure which is equivalent to the proportion of Mg(II)
in the central layer is compensated by cations like sodium or calcium that are intercalated.
Typical charge densities are in the order of 100 meq/100g and the lateral dimensions of the 1
nm thick platelets vary between several hundred nanometers and one micrometer. Such a
polar, charged stacking readily incorporates water molecules. Therefore the interlayer
distance which is in the order of one nanometer depends on the level of environmental
humidity. Additionally natural intercalated cations may easily be exchanged by organic
cations like quarternized fatty acid derived amines. Indeed “organo-clays” have been the
workhorse for the preparation of polmer nano-composites in most cases due to a given
tunable compatibility with organic hydrocarbon based structures and an increased
interlayer distance. Methods comprise in-situ polymerization, solution blending (polymer is
dissolved in solvent) as well as polymer melt processing. Besides rendering polar clay

Figure 6. Aggregated (a), intercalated (b) and exfoliated (c) structures for nano composite materials
based on layered fillers dispersed in polymer matrices.

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 67
“organophilic” reactive clays have been proposed for numerous in-situ polymerization
systems, e.g. of epoxy resins via acidic ammonium (Lan et al., 1996), lactone via transition
metal compound (Lepoittevin et al., 2002) or in combination with radically polymerized
olefinic unsaturated monomers (Di & Sogah, 2006). Other approaches make use of pristine
clays in heterophase polymerizations, either emulsion polymerization (Huang & Brittain,
2001) or mini emulsion polymerization (Cauvin et al., 2005), where the mineral platelets are
found at the interface between the aqueous phase and the polymer particles to yield
Pickering like armored particles.
Regarding the mechanical properties the stiffening effect of intercalated and to some extend
exfoliated composites has been attributed to an immobilization of the polymer matrix. Thus
polymer chains confined within the platelets interstitial space or tethered to the platelets
surface may extend into the surrounding matrix and entangle with each other (Rao &
Pochan, 2007). Hence the effective volume of the platelets exceeds that of the neat particles.
Consequently a huge effect in the mechanical response to external stress can be observed as
reinforcement accompanied with a decrease of polymer chain flexibility expressed as a
reduced loss modulus in dynamic mechanical analysis. Obviously the stress transfer over
the volume of a work piece scales with the platelets aspect ratio and from theoretical
considerations as well as from biological systems it is known that the probability to dramatic
failure due to flaws inversely scales with the thickness of the particles (Gao et al., 2003).
However numerous studies have shown that polymer clay nano composites tend to show
brittle failure in impact tests or to provide a reduced toughness in tensile tests in
comparison with the unfilled polymers. Reasons might be local stress build up and thus
crack initiation at aggregated inclusions. However in first instance it is due to the particles
restricted mobility in a glassy matrix system. By shifting the time-temperature parameter
frame of the test method relative to the glass temperature of the polymer a shift from brittle
to tough failure can be observed (Shah et al., 2005). This was corroborated by simulation
results which show that the particles mobility in the matrix is a decisive prerequisite for
tough failure (Gersappe, 2002). In semi-crystalline polymer systems the nano-particles
impact on the crystallization of the polymer phase was also shown to dramatically increase
the failure toughness by changing the overall matrix morphology (Shah et al., 2004).
With respect to the diffusion barrier of clay based composites this is mainly attributed to the
tortuosity for the diffusing species (Triantafyllidis et al., 2006). It was particularly shown
that penetration rates inversely scale with the aspect ratio of the clay platelets (Gatos &
Karger-Kocsis, 2007; Kugge et al., 2011).
3. Layered Double Hydroxide – Polymer composite based coatings
3.1. Layered Double Hydroxides (LDH)
LDH structure is described with the ideal formula, [M
x/m.nH2O]inter ,
where M
and M
are metal cations, A the anions and intra and inter denote the intralayer
domain and the interlayer space, respectively. The structure deviates from the layered
morphology of magnesium hydroxide (Brucite, Mg(OH)2) – consisting in edge sharing

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 68
octahedrons of hydroxyl anion coordinated metal cations. Compared to the neutral brucite
framework, partial M
to M
substitution induces a positive charge for the layers, counter-
balanced with the presence of the interlayered anions. Edge sharing M(OH)6 octahedra yield
inorganic sheets in the lateral dimension while the anions induce a stacking of the sheets as
illustrated in Fig. 7. Structurally, polytypes based on two-, three- and six-layer polytypes
presenting either rhombohedral (2R, 3R, 6R) or hexagonal symmetry (2H, 3H, 6H) are
determined from the powder X-ray diffraction diagrams (Bookin et al., 1993). However the
LDH and the hybrid derivative materials are usually poorly crystallized and the more
common three-layer polytype 3R1 with rhombohedral symmetry (space group R-3m) is often
adopted. From a long range order, the stacking of LDH sheets is viewed as layers translation
of (2/3a +1/3b) between consecutive layers.

Figure 7. Structure of Layered Double Hydroxide material
In term of crystal identification and natural abundance, hydrotalcite of composition
Mg6Al2(OH)16(CO3)∙4H2O was first identified in Sweden in the year 1842. Many other minerals
presenting different chemical natures are belonging to this large family, such as manasseite,
Mg3Al(OH)8(CO3)0.5∙2H2O, meixnerite, Mg3Al(OH)8(CO3)0.5∙2H2O, sjögrenite Mg3Fe(OH)8
(CO3)0.5∙2.25H2O, stichtite, Mg3Cr(OH)8(CO3)0.5∙2H2O, takovite Ni3Al(OH)8- (CO3)0.5∙2H2O,
pyroaurite, Mg3Fe(OH)8(CO3)0.5∙2.25H2O, wermlandite, Mg(Al,Fe)0.5SO4∙2H2O, hydrocalumite,
Ca2Al(OH)6(CO3 )0.11(OH)0.78∙2.38H2O, Fe
2 (OH)12SO4∙nH2O, an iron hydroxysulphate
commonly called greenrust, and others. Naturally not abundant, synthetic LDH materials
nowadays are, however, produced in relative large amounts, this promoted by a high global
demand of their use in ethanol steam reforming, biodiesel production and in plastics
processing industry to replace heavy-metal additives for PVC as well as bromide-based fire
retardants in other polymers.
Simple, reproducible and rather inexpensive syntheses have been developed to produce
LDH materials. The co-precipitation process at a fixed pH value is largely employed to

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 69
yield materials with chemical homogeneity. Standard LDH products bearing anions such
as nitrate or chloride may subsequently be used to yield LDH phases comprising other
anion compositions through ion exchange topotactic reaction. Other procedures such as
metal salt and metal oxide addition and reconstruction from amorphous calcined LDH
precusors yield materials of lower crystallinity and potentially accompanied with non
LDH phases. During a co-precipitation both nucleation and growth process steps occur
simultaneously, resulting in particles presenting a relative broad size distribution. Size
distribution may be limited at the expense of a lower crystallinity by using short addition
times and by avoiding any ageing step after the co-precipitation. For a better control of
the particle size distribution, a rapid coprecipitation reaction is associated either to a
separate aging step (Zhao et al., 2002) or to a subsequent controlled hydrothermal
treatment (Xu et al. 2006), both methods yielding stable homogenous LDH suspensions
with controllable particle sizes of interest for the elaboration of thin films or
nanostructured materials. Another option is the so called “homogeneous precipitation”
through urea hydrolysis and decomposition at slightly elevated temperatures (Ogawa &
Kaiho, 2002). Urea decomposes into ammonium cyanate and successively into ammonium
carbonate and ammonia upon hydrolysis, the rising pH value provokes the precipitation
of the metal salts yielding micrometre sized, monodisperse and well-shaped carbonate
bearing LDH particles.
Aqueous medium is largely preferred for the coprecipitation process, but other solvents
maybe employed. For instance the polyol method performed by the hydrolysis of the metal
acetate salts in ethylene glycol or di ethylene glycol under heating produces pure acetate
intercalated LDH, this in absence of pH and atmosphere control and without an excess of a
base (Prevot et al., 2005). Alternatively the sol-gel route in an organic medium yields LDH
materials after hydrolysis and condensation polymerization reactions of metal alkoxide
precursors (Wang et al., 1999). Of lower relevance for large scale production and from
application related aspects, reversed micelles or micro emulsions may be employed to
drastically change the LDH platelets morphology into fiber-like particles (Hu & O’Hare,
2005), and a sophisticated method using inverse opals is reported to yield three dimensional
ordered macroporous LDH materials, the polystyrene beads based opal array acting as a
sacrificial template (Géraud et al., 2006).
As evidenced from the natural occurrence, the chemical variety of hydrotalcite class of
materials is rooted in a broad range of compositional tolerance with respect to the nature
and ratio of divalent and trivalent cations according to their associated oxidation state and
ionic radius as well as from the nature of the interleaved anion. The ratio of divalent and
trivalent cations induces a net positive charge layer, resulting in a variable of interleaved
anions. The anionic exchange capacity usually ranges between 450 to 200 meq/100 mg that
corresponds to an average area per charge between 25 and 40 Å
. It is importance to tune
the platelets interface in order to enable the accommodation of cumbersome guest molecules
as such high charge densities picture layers that are tightly stacked by electrostatic attraction

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 70
translated via the interlayer anions and / or by attractive forces acting laterally between the
densely stacked anions. Indeed the usual M
cation repartition results in LDH stacking
being reluctant to exfoliate. However stable colloidal suspensions of exfoliated platelets can
be obtained by the use of specific solvents such as formamide in addition to ultrasound for
nitrate-based LDH (Liu et al., 2006), N,N-dimethylformamide-ethanol for carbonate-based
LDH (Okamoto et al., 2006) or even water for alkoxide (Gurski et al., 2006) or lactate (Hibino
& Kobayashi, 2005) intercalated LDH. It was observed that LDH nano sheets gradually
dissolve in organic solvents.
With regard to their size – whether atomic or polymeric – and their valence from one to
polyvalent a vast variety of species can be intercalated and exchanged by others depending
on their characteristics. However driven by the intense research devoted to polymer-clay
nanocomposite (PCN) (see section 2.7), surfactant molecules are commonly used to render
the LDH sheets organophilic. It is comparable to the lipophilization of the smectite-type
clays by alkyl ammonium cation to reduce the surface polarity of the silicate layers, and thus
to supply a satisfactory affinity between them and a polymer. Another aspect is to consider
LDH open-structure as an available container to embark and deliver functional species. This
aspect is developed in more detail in section 3.3.
In addition to the tunable intra- and inter- chemical composition that permits to adapt LDH
platelets for multiple applications and specific requirements (ecology, toxicity, functionality)
bi-dimensional assembly of LDH platelets presents mesophasic ordering in suspension and
in bulk polymer. Evidenced by birefringence observation, colloidal platelets of LDH show
isotropic (I) to nematic (N) phase transition as a function of the concentration (Zhang et al.,
2007). However high platelets concentration as high as 20% (wt.wt.) is needeed to realize the
I-N phase transition with the co-existence of a sol-gel transition. At lower concentrations in
toluene I-N transition was observed with LDH platelets grafted with amino-modified
polyisobutylene (Mourad et al., 2008) as well as with LDH particles dispersed in high-
molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (Luan et al., 2009). More recently the possibility to
use such organized hierarchy was applied to polymer coatings (Troutier-Thuilliez et al.,
2011), more developed in section 3.2.
Another interesting aspect for the application of LDH in coatings is their ability to arrange
themselves in the form of thin films on a (metal) substrate or to be generated onto a metal
substrate. Academically the formation of M
-Al-NO3 LDH films is reported on the surface of
Al2O3 (Paulhiac & Clause, 1993) when contacting with M
= Zn, Mg, Co and Ni).
Optimized adsorption onto Al2O3 surface arises near its isoelectric point (i.e.p.) at pH 7.3
demonstrating that the formation of the LDH film proceeds by surface adsorption rather
than electrostatic impregnation. Onto Al metal substrate highly porous Zn-Al LDH films
with thicknesses on several micrometers are grown by reacting zinc salts and ammonia (Gao
et al., 2006), while Zincite (ZnO) precipitates onto Al-free surfaces (Si, glass, plastic). The
cross-section of a LDH film obtained after 12h at 50°C using a NH3 to Zn ratio of three is
shown in figure 8.

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 71

Figure 8. SEM images of LDH film grown on Al-bearing glass substrate after (Gao et al., 2006).
Alternatively this technology appears appealing to protect Mg and Zn rich alloy substrates.
The combined deposition of LDH with surfactants yields superhydrophobic barrier films
that are of interest in coatings science (Chen et al., 2006). Finally thin and ultrathin LDH
films have been developed for energy management, thus via electrodeposition highly
exposed electrode materials can be prepared (Gupta et al., 2008). For instance Ni or Co LDH
films are cathodically electrodeposited through the reduction of nitrate ions; the increasing
concentration promoting the LDH precipitation at the surface (Indira & Kamath, 1994).
However published work on electrodeposition on the laboratory scale suggests that this
method shall be deemed to be challenging to scale-up due to the observed vulnerability of
the coatings to form defects like cracks and uncovered domains despite carefully controlled
parameters (current density, concentration, time, temperature).
3.2. Aqueous LDH based coatings
As outlined in chapter 2.2 automotive primers for instance are based on tough polymers
capable to form hydrogen bonds (e.g. polyurethanes) that are highly filled with inorganic
micron-sized particles like titania, barite, and easily cleavable talc, which primarily cause
cohesive failure of the coating upon impact. With respect to integrated coating systems (see
chapter 2.1.) without such a primer layer the mechanical functionality should be imparted into
the remaining coating layers which have to provide additional functionalities like colour effect
(aesthetics) or corrosion inhibition (diffusion barrier, inhibitor release). Thus it would be
highly desirable to increase the scope for formulation by reducing the amount of loading of the
polymer phase with filler particles. One attractive strategy is the use of exfoliated as well as
polymer intercalated layered inorganic particles which are known to reinforce polymer
matrices at low loadings through coordinate stress transfer. As described in chapter 2.4. large
aspect ratios of these particles are preferred in view of the mechanical properties. However

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 72
dimensions of up to several hundred nanometer surpass typical sizes of polymer colloidal
particles that are in the order of 20 to 100 nm. Accordingly they usually have to be dispersed
within the continuous aqueous phase of the liquid coating. In order to maintain a low initial as
well as storage stable viscosity of this material allowing for spray application particle-particle
interactions have to be controlled. This concerns in particular the interactions between the
layered inorganic particles – thus the gel formation of quite diluted aqueous dispersions of
phyllosilicates like Laponite and Montmorillonite resulting from the aggregation of clusters
formed by exfoliated platelets or small staples of platelets has been a widely studied
phenomenon (Mourchid et al., 1995; Dijkstra et al., 1997; Pignon et al., 1997; Shalkevich et al.,
2007; Joensson et al., 2008; Cousin et al., 2009). Also specific interactions between polymers and
the inorganic particles have to be considered (Balazs et al. 1998; Milczewska et al., 2003;
Alemdar & Buetuen, 2004; Wang et al., 2006). In this respect combining oppositely charged
components like positively charged platelets and anionic stabilized polymers or colloidal
polymer particles appears to be adventurous regarding possible heterocoagulation as it was
observed with oppositely charged inorganic particles (Ji et al., 2004). However within the
following chapters it is shown that, within a given toolbox of waterborne polymer colloids,
water soluble polymers and water dispersible LDH particles, by tuning the compatibility
between the polymers as well as the interfacial properties between the polymers and the LDH
particles, storage stable aqueous coating materials can be formulated. Furthermore upon spray
application and film formation of several of these formulations a broad range of different
coatings morphologies – all providing excellent impact resistance – are obtained.
3.2.1. Intrinsically incompatible matrix
For stone impact resistant coatings, dispersed soft phases, in particular bicontinuous phases,
have been claimed, since heterogeneous (polymer) film morphologies are known to be
beneficial for stress relaxation and for the limitation of unstable crack growth as outlined in
section 2.2. In this context, a ternary composition was designed, comprising polyester (PES),
blocked polyiso-cyanate (PURx) and hydrophobic polyurethane (PURh) (Hintze-Bruening et
al., 2009). It has to be emphasized that contrary to the crystalline LDH phases, the polymers
both of the reference system and of the mixtures described in this and the following sections
are technical, structurally non uniform products with rather broad molecular weight distri-
butions obtained from step growth polymerizations. However as visualized by CLSM using
fluorescent labeled versions of PES and PURh, the mixture shows a spinodal like polymer
phase separation upon water flash off. This produces a heterogeneous film structure in the
baked coating with large dispersed areas of a less dense phase which primarily is consti-
tuted by PURh.
In the presence of the carbonate (CO3
) and 4-amino benzene sulfonate (4-ABSA)
comprising Zn2Al(OH)6 LDH particles, the phase separation becomes either retarded or
accelerated, respectively, as was deduced from the resulting film morphologies. With the
organic modified particles, a dispersed softer PURh phase of significant smaller droplet size
was found within a continuous more rigid and elastic composite phase. Morphologies
where both phases are continuous were also obtained using LDH particles with smaller
lateral dimensions, as with the 3-ABSA intercalated Mg2Al(OH)6 phase (Fig. 9).

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 73

Figure 9. Multiple heterogeneous morphology of a baked film comprising polymer intercalated
Mg2Al(OH)6 – 3,ABSA as rigid phase (blue) besides PURh based soft phase (red). AFM phase contrast
image (5∙5 μm) and force distance curves. The colour codes are also valid for Fig. 10.
It is conceivable that besides a positive impact of the particles on the viscosity development
of the continuous polymer phase (as observed in the rheological behavior of a reference
system, see below), the LDH particles might simply form physical obstacles for the moving
interface between the demixing polymer phases. This latter effect was simulated for binary
polymer systems comprising spherical hard particles (Ginzburg et al., 1999) and corrobo-
rating morphologies were observed with several silica beads filled (Karim et al., 1999) and
smectite filled non crystalline polymer blends (Yurekli et al., 2003, 2004). Indeed CLSM and
XRD studies revealed that the PES (and possibly both the polar components PURx and MF
resin) readily intercalates the LDH galleries in the initial waterborne coating material while
the particular shape of the micron sized aggregates of polymer intercalated LDH particles
slowly disappears during the air drying process. An inverse impact on the kinetics of the
polymer phase separation was found with the carbonate bearing LDH particles which
enables a stratification of the film where a continuous PURh layer covers a composite phase
that comprises the aggregated, not polymer intercalated LDH particles. Due to their basic
nature, it is conceivable that the carbonate bearing LDH particles retard the acid catalyzed
transetherification of the melamine formaldehyde resin.

It is noteworthy that the particle impact on the kinetics of the polymer phase separation
follows the same trend which was observed for the viscosity development of a reference
system that was based on an aqueous PUR dispersion (Troutier-Thuilliez et al., 2009). This
commercial grade polymer was shown by XRD studies and TEM imaging to readily intercalate
organic anion bearing LDH phases whereas no specific interactions and intimate blending
occurs in the presence of the carbonate comprising LDH particles. However, the 4-ABSA
anions render the LDH particles organophilic but still incompatible with the hydrophobic

Importantly, curing reactions are not generally be hampered by the presence of LDH phases as demonstrated with cross-
linked polysiloxanes on a metal substrate (Kanai & Nomura, 2009) and in a sol-gel based coating (Alvarez et al., 2010).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 74
polyurethane PURh of the ternary mixture which was demonstrated with another reference
coating material that was exclusively based on PURh as the polymer part. This incompatibility
might not be fully attributed to the hydrophobic nature of the polymer chains stemming from
the incorporated dimer fatty acid moieties. This was shown with another LDH phase that
beared intercalated fatty acid carboxylates (C12) instead of 4-ABSA. Although favourable
interactions with the PURh chains are expected no intercalation could be observed. A possible
explanation might be the lack in entropic gain. Assumed that the polymer intercalation
proceeds via anion exchange the system would gain entropy by the released small anions 4-
ABSA or dodecyl carboxylate. However due to distinct van der Waals attractions and as the
conjugated base of a weak acid the latter are only slightly water soluble under ambient
As with the baked films of the reference system, typically stacks of tennish polymer
intercalated and approximately 10-15 nm separated platelets of the initially 4-ABSA bearing
LDH phase are found to be homogeneously and isotropically distributed throughout the
continuous phase besides minor amounts of singular platelets and some stacks of platelets
which retained their original interlayer distance. The stacks of polymer intercalated platelets or
polymer separated stacks of non-intercalated platelets appear as alternating rigid soft layers
which micromechanically could be considered as sliding planes in the case of shear stress and
as springs or attenuators under compressive load. Additionally as described in section 2.7. and
known in the context of smectite filled polymer system, the confinement of polymers
strengthens the continuous polymer phase near and above the glass transition temperature. In
combination with the presence of the dispersed soft PURh phase as well as the tortuous path
for growing cracks these features were attributed to be the main causes for the excellent stone
chip performance obtained with model automotive coatings comprising these materials as a
primer layer which is visualized by the fracture surface that is shown in figure 10.

Figure 10. Sections of impact crater produced from single spherical impacts at 273K. Fracture surfaces
of the primer layer are shown. Left image shows the composite of Fig. 9., scale bar is 1 μm. Tortuous
cracking took place in the rigid composite leaving individual LDH stacks behind. Right image is a
stratified primer (yellow line = interface) comprising aggregated carbonated LDH particles in the layer
beneath the upper PURh phase, scale bar is 20 μm.

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 75
3.2.2. Compatible matrix & ordered films
Another approach to achieve high impact resistance in coatings could be the formation of
textured composites including platelets that are aligned parallel to the substrate surface.
Thus a high level of ordering at the scale of building blocks is reminiscent of bio-related
frameworks, inspired by aragonite protein brick mortar assemblies found in e.g. nacre and
reported in the literature as high strength materials. However these artificial materials are
typically obtained by tedious application techniques, e.g. via layer by layer deposition that
are economically unaffordable for industrial processing (Bonderer et al., 2008). In contrast
LDH particle-based composites with distinctly oriented thin stacks of LDH platelets were
obtained from a single application step of a Zn2Al(OH)6 4-ABSA LDH particle comprising
aqueous binary mixture of compatible polymers (Hintze-Bruening et al., 2011). Both
polymers exhibit some amphiphilic features by combining hydrophobic backbones with
anionic stabilizing groups: a polyurethane (PURh)
and a polyester (PESh).
It could be shown that the formation of this texture is due to some intermediate colloidal
stage of a lyotropic liquid crystal like (LC) ordered liquid phase which arises from ionic
interactions between protonated amino groups of 4-ABSA molecules on the LDH platelets
surface and the carboxylate moieties of the PESh. Besides the well-known attempt of
charged layered particles to gain entropy via reducing their excluded volume if dispersed in
water, an additional enthalpy related driving force might be an effective lamellar shielding
of the hydrophobic PESh backbone against the aqueous phase if adsorbed between adjacent
LDH platelets. Thus a lamellar texture indicated by the fluorescent labelled PESh within an
intermediate preparation stage of the coating was visualized with CLSM. Besides a nematic
phase of poly(isobutylene) stabilized LDH particles in toluene (Mourad et al., 2008) a
lyotropic mesophase of polymer stabilized LDH in water had not been described before.
Upon stirring the LDH particle slurry into the aqueous PESh dispersion, a stable viscous
paste showing “schlieren” is obtained. These could be assigned to a nematic ordering as was
shown by textural domains visible under cross polarized light as well as in cryo SEM
pictures. Ultra small angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) confirms the mean spacing between the
lamellae as observed in the cryo SEM picture by exhibiting a peak corresponding to a
distance of 75 nm. Such a distance is not revealed by cryo TEM images of individual
lamellae that are predominantly constituted by parallel aligned LDH platelets (Fig. 11).
Despite their rather non-uniformly stacking in terms of the number as well as with regard to
the interlayer distance of the individual LDH layers, this varying morphology still gives rise
to distinct peaks in the SAXS curve over four harmonics corresponding to a mean spacing of
21 nm. The scattering intensity follows an I(q) = q
power law decay which is that
expected for individual platelets.

Note that the hydrophobic nature of the polymer backbones is stemming from dimerized fatty acid that is used as a
monomer in the synthesis of the polyester intermediate polyols. With this respect PURh is similar to that PURh
described in the preceding section, both only differing by the type of diisocyanate that was used for the polyaddition
step in the synthesis of the polyurethanes.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 76

Figure 11. Cross polarized OM image (right insert, scale bar 200 μm) shows an ordered liquid
composed of aligned lamellae (TEM image, left insert) which comprise irregularly parallel aligned
individual LDH platelets with a mean spacing of 20 nm (cryo TEM images).
Combined with the aqueous PURh dispersion and the melamine formaldehyde resin (MF),
smooth highly transparent films can be obtained after drying and baking.
It could be shown
that within the liquid coating material the ordered nematic like phase of the intermediate
disrupts into micron sized fragments which are still constituted of LDH platelets separated
by 20 nm according to cryo SEM images and peaks in the SAXS curve. These lamellar
fragments still comprise the major portion of the PESh which was visualized by the
fluorescent labelled polymer in confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The
morphology of free films was investigated by TEM and XRD (Fig. 12).
The LDH platelets’ interstitial space from the liquid coatings LDH bearing fragments has
been compacting during film formation and baking yielding aligned tiny stacks with an
interlayer spacing of 10 nm. These stacks comprise LDH platelets that are separated by 1.76
nm. The alignment parallel to the substrates surface is far from being perfect as revealed by
stitched TEM pictures but essential enough to give rise to either the 003 or the 010 and 100
reflections in the SWAXS curves depending on the inclination angle of the specimen.
The small interstitial spacing of 1.76 nm corresponds to that of the pristine LDH phase
bearing intercalated 4,ABSA anions. However these were found to be liberated from the
intermediate PESh LDH preparation into the aqueous phase. Hence such a restacking would

The ordered nematic like liquid of the intermediate preparation does not yield a film. After drying and baking
extended, quasi “bicontinuous” phases are found: a LDH rich solid phase besides a transparent LDH free polyester
based (viscous resinous) phase.

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 77
be a remarkable finding and deserves further investigations as well as the role of the film
forming polyurethane colloids. The latter was found to be incompatible with the (pristine)
LDH phase like the one of the incompatible polymer system described in section 3.2.1.

Figure 12. Stitched HAADF-TEM images and corresponding SWAXS diffraction curves from different
inclination angles of a baked film of the aqueous, PURh diluted nematic like meso-phase of PESh
stabilized LDH platelets. Black spheres with diameters of ~ 1 μm in the lower part of the film are
discussed in the text and emphasized in Fig. 13.
If such a liquid formulation of PURh fragmented ordered LDH – PESh intermediate liquids
was sprayed as a primer layer in the same model automotive coating system already
introduced in the preceding section an outstanding stone chip resistance was observed. SEM
fracture analysis of an impact crater produced by a single spherical impact test that was
applied on the very same test panel revealed that remnant substrate near pieces of the
fractured layer expose – besides some LDH platelets – the replica of numerous spherical
“inclusions” with a typical diameter of one micro-meter or less (Fig. 13).
These witness a foamy morphology of the lower part of the primer layer. The gaseous
inclusions are also visible in the TEM image of the free film as dark spots and they are most
probably constituted by either accumulated air from the application or (and) by liberated
methanol from the trans-etherification cross linking reaction of the melamine formaldehyde
resin. Thus the excellent impact resistance may not (exclusively) be attributed to the ordered
LDH composite since a porous morphology is also known to be beneficial for stress
dissipation and limitation of crack growth (see also sections 2.2 and 2.3). The use of
breakable hollow spheres as filler particles for stone chip resistant coatings accordingly was
an early proposal albeit studies were limited on systems comprising glass spheres on a
much bigger length scale. In contrast the present model coating demonstrates the possibility
of an in-situ formation of such porous structures on an appropriate scale by providing an
efficient diffusion barrier within the coating layer. Such a combination of mechanical

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 78
performance and barrier properties might be the basis of multifunctional coatings in terms
of corrosion protection of the metal substrate.

Figure 13. Impact crater from single spherical impact with increasing magnifications (inserts) showing
spherical gaseous inclusions in the remnants of the primer layer obtained from the formulation also
used to prepare the film shown in Fig. 12. (scale bar 2μm). A zoomed section of image Fig. 12 is shown
for comparison. The term “air” is discussed in the text.
3.3. LDH based anti-corrosion coatings
As mentioned in section 2.5., the most effective corrosion inhibitor chromium ion Cr
for years was banned from automotive coatings (Directive 2000/53/EC of the European
Parliament and the council of 18 September 2000). In more details, it was declared in the
European director that new vehicles after 1 July 2003 should not contain any lead, mercury,
cadmium or hexavalent chromium, the latter being poisonous to the environment as well as
being a potent carcinogen. Many chemical additives are also blacklisted by international
regulations through REACH “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of
Chemicals” applied by the European Commission for enterprise and industry. With respect
to metal substrates, such as aluminum and aluminum alloys like AA 2024-T3, commonly
used in aeronautic, aerospace and automotive transportation, for the protective coatings
these regulations apply. This prompted developments of chromate-free coatings anti-
corrosion (Twite & Bierwagen, 1998; Sinko, 2001; Buchheit et al., 2003). To protect industrial
ferrous and non-ferrous alloys as well as modern upcoming substrates from corrosion,
applied coating technologies (spin coating, plasma, electrodeposition, anodization) and/or
specific inhibitors (cerium, phosphate, molybdate, phosphate compounds, conducting
polymers) may be selected (section 2.5.).
However the observation that a corrosion inhibitor dispersed into a coating may result in a
weakening in its structure, leading to greater permeation trough diffusion mechanism and

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 79
finally to its deterioration led to the idea to prevent such deleterious phenomena by loading
the inhibitor in some sort of “passive” container. Among possible containers LDH-type
materials are of great interest due to their high lateral aspect ratio allowing efficient barrier
properties as well as due to their ion exchange ability (see section 3.1.). The former arising
from the strong structural platelets anisotropy is also to a great extend dependent on the
degree of the particles dispersion within the coating. Once provided, reduction in gas (e.g.
O2) and electrolyte (e.g. H2O and Cl
) permeability through the polymer film should be
expected through the creation of tortuous paths, thus decelerating the corrosion process (see
section 2.4). With respect to the latter, the LDH host structure is acting as a scavenger
towards aggressive ions (e.g. Cl
), vice et versa Cl
ions present a rather good affinity with
LDH materials. Such ion entrapment is associated by displacing the interleaved anion, i.e.
the corrosion inhibitor, if the ion exchange reaction proceeds. Reminding that LDH host
structure is able to load very diverse anions, inhibition efficiency of intercalated inorganic or
organic anions such as carbonate (Lin et al., 2007), molybdate (Yu et al., 2008), vanadate
(Mahajanam & Buchheit, 2008; Zheludkevich et al., 2010) and laurate (Zhang et al., 2008a),
quinaldate and thiazole derivative (Poznyak et al., 2009) has been reported recently.
Coating systems usually present pores and / or bear heterogeneities in the crosslink
density from the sub-micrometer to the nano scale that facilitates the corrosion process to
migrate along the metal coatings interface. Both cathodic and anodic corrosion
mechanisms drastically increase or lower local pH values (see section 2.4.) respectively.
Practically, an anodic corrosion process will induce a low pH value that would promote
the dissolution of the LDH layer, thus buffering the medium as well as releasing the
interleaved anion. On the contrary a cathodic corrosion process (i.e. oxygen evolution)
imposes a high pH value that stabilizes the LDH phase that consequently would exchange
either Cl
or OH
with the anti-corrosion agent. Hence such desorption triggered by the
corrosion process may be viewed as a “smart” release of active molecules able to decrease
the damaging on demand. It is also commonly designated as a “self-healing” behavior
although the polymer phase is not repaired by the anticorrosion agent. In the anodic case,
one should also mention that the dissolution of an appropriate LDH host framework
could release Zn
ions into the media that are reported to act as an inhibitor to chloride-
induced corrosion (Veleva et al., 1999; Williams & McMurray, 2003). In the following, one
should distinguish between the barrier effect (passive inhibition) and the release of
chemical agents (active inhibition). For the former, it is interesting to note that LDH-type
barrier layers may be generated either chemically or electrochemically (section 3.1.). After
prolonged immersion times in seawater, LDH-type material was found on the surface of
composites and of monolithic 6092- and 6061-T6 aluminum panels (Ding et al., 2009).
LDH / alumina bilayer film was fabricated on an Al foil via a single hydrothermal
crystallization step (Guo et al., 2009) and topological growth of LDH platelets interleaved
with surfactant molecules onto an aluminum substrate was reported to yield a super-
hydrophobic protective film (Zhang et al., 2008). Due to the high cathodic corrosion
activity of magnesium, a corrosion-resistant barrier forms on its surface in alkaline
environments. In the presence of a trivalent metal in a basic medium, a LDH precursor is

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 80
deposited on the Mg alloy sheet (Buchheit & Martinez, 1998). Similarly, chemical
conversion yielding a hydrotalcite (Mg,Al-LDH) was reported for a Mg-Al-Zn (AZ91D)
alloy surface (Uan et al., 2008). No corrosion spot was observed after a 72 h salt spray test
which was attributed to the formed protective barrier layer (Lin & Uan, 2009). Such a
chemically-generation process may be further optimized using the separate nucleation
and aging steps (SNAS) method which permits to form uniform and compact LDH films
(Wang et al., 2010). Spin coating process was reported for AZ31 Mg alloy substrate (Zhang
et al., 2008b), and spray-coated LDH formulation Mg3Al(OH)8NO2·2H2O bearing nitrite
ions onto a steel surface was claimed to result in a good corrosion resistance when
immersed for 30-days into a 3% brine solution (Abe & Yasuda, 2005). Additionally to
protect steel from corrosion during outdoor exposure over a long period of time, LDH
barrier acts as a rust-inhibiting pigment when dispersed into an adhesion-promoting
primer (Nagai et al., 2003; Sato et al., 2002) and such a “rustproofing” pretreatment of
steel surfaces with a “paint-like” coating comprising a LDH formulation prior to painting
was also reported (Yung et al., 2002; Sato et al., 2003) and related to overall coatings
efficiency in the way that the procedure is enabling to reduce the number of coating
stages (Nagai et al., 2004). For some coatings comprising zinc powder, formulations with
hydrocalumite (Ca2Al-LDH) as a fixing agent for corrosive ions provide a good adhesion to
blast-treated steel plates as well as a high corrosion resistance in salt spray test (Kihira et
al., 2007). Electrogeneration of LDH particles reported for magnesium-based substrate
was also found to improve the adhesion of subsequently applied paintings in addition to
an enhanced corrosion resistance. Intercalated with corrosion inhibitor anions
electrodeposited hydrotalcite films were claimed to adsorb corrosive ions and release
corrosion inhibitor, and in the same time the LDH layer being firmly bound to the
magnesium alloy (Yu et al., 2009). Similarly cathodic deposited coatings comprising LDH-
like materials with an organic acid salt were claimed to provide excellent edge corrosion
prevention, a high throwing power and chemical resistance along with other beneficial
properties for film formation (Nakau et al., 2000).
For the release aspect, the beneficial effect to load the anti-corrosion agent into a LDH host
structure is illustrated on Al 2024 as a substrate using nitrate Zn2Al-LDH (Zn2Al(OH)6(NO3)
∙2H2O) that is a well-known model system for its anticorrosion efficiency (Miyata, 1988)
(Fig. 14. & Fig. 15.). Figure 14 displays photographed specimens of epoxy based primer
coated panels after an immersion test. The deleterious effect of the free nitrate is obvious if
the extended corroded zones all over the exposed substrate area are compared to the much
smaller domains that were formed when the equivalent amount of 2000 ppm nitrate had
been embarked within the interstitial space of LDH platelets. This demonstrates the
difference in (mobile) ionic strength throughout the test duration that facilitates diffusion of
corrosive electrolyte in combination with a barrier effect imposed by the layered LDH
particles. Additionally the beneficial effect of providing the inhibitor via an efficient
triggered release from LDH hosts was observed on scratched and immersed panels which
had been coated with the very same primer formulations and subsequently with a top coat
(Fig. 15).

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 81

Figure 14. Epoxy primer coated panel, the primer comprising NaNO3 (a) or LDH/NO3 (b) respectively.
Panels were exposed to 0.005 M NaCl for 720 hours, the diameter of the exposed area being 4,6 cm.
(Courtesy of Dr. Thomas Stimpfling)

Figure 15. The same experimental set-up as described for figures 3a and 3b, except for an additional top
coat being applied on the primer layer and that the coatings were scratched before exposure. (Courtesy
of Dr. Thomas Stimpfling)
From pioneering work underlining the ability of LDH to act as a container for corrosion
inhibiting species and in particular against filiform corrosion (Miyata, 1988), a lot of
literature is now available. Most of them report the interest of LDH-based anti-corrosion
coatings against blistering, pitting corrosion, visible and non-visible (sub layer electrolyte
accumulation) damage zones involved in filiform corrosion and other corrosive reactions or
coating failures. Similarly numerous patents report the relevance of LDH additives to
prevent metal substrate corrosion; this is particularly well documented for Al-based alloys
and steel substrates. Thus for coating AA2024-T3 alloy, a suitable composition was
proposed that uses 2,5-dimercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole (DMTD) as guest anion intercalated

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 82
between LDHs layers via the reconstruction method (Sinko & Kendig, 2005). DMTD does
not form insoluble compounds with Al
but rather interacts locally at copper inclusions due
to the high chemical affinity between the thiol and copper that results in a stable
chemisorbed layer of the corresponding complexes. Deposited on the electrochemically
active copper rich domains, it inhibits the oxygen reduction reaction. In succession LDH
phases loaded with different thiazole derivatives like mercaptobenzothiazole,
mercaptobenzimidazole, mercaptobenzotriazole, mercaptobenzoxazole, benzotriazole, or
toloyltriazole were claimed to act in this vein (Price et al., 2010).
For steel-based substrates like low carbon steel plates vanadate bearing LDH hybrids as ion-
exchangeable pigments in alkyd paints provide anticorrosive performance (Chico et al.,
2008, however they were found to be less effective than zinc chromate. A special treatment
providing a good corrosion resistance was reported for SPCC-SB (cold rolled carbon steel
sheets or coils with dull or bright finish associated with standard temperature grade) sheets
that is used for automotive modules, body panels and interior parts (Okumiya T, Ikematsu,
2007): LDH phases modified with saturated aliphatic monocarboxylic acids in admixture
with magnesium acetate yield gels that can be applied on the rolled sheets in the form of the
pulverized material. Finally synergistic corrosion inhibition for metal substrates in general
and based on LDH was claimed (Gichuhi & Novelli, 2005): organic or inorganic corrosion
inhibiting interleaved agents were selected according to the criteria of non-toxicity and to
their ability to form stable, insoluble metal-ligand complexes, thus resulting in the
protection of metal substrates and utilizing synergistic corrosion inhibitive mechanisms.
4. Conclusions
Within this chapter it was shown that modern and future automotive coatings might be
realized which could either enhance resistance towards impact and corrosion to traditional
systems or maintain their accustomed performance in more eco-efficient systems comprising
less individual layers or in significantly thinner coatings by making use of layered particle
based polymer composites. Following design principles for materials that combine tough
failure with reinforcement and translating them into heterogeneous morphologies on varied
length scales coatings damage due to stone impact can effectively be limited. By tuning the
compatibility between the components of the polymer matrix as well as the affinity between
these and layered inorganic particles of a toolbox of some polyesters, polyurethanes and
layered double hydroxides such different coatings morphologies like disperse, bi-
continuous, stratified as well as textured structures can be obtained, all of them performing
outstandingly as a primer layer of an automotive coating system in stone impact tests.
Contrary to some other layered inorganic particles like Montmorillonite as well as compared
to other encapsulation materials like polyelectrolytes or hard polymer capsules it is the
chemical and structural variability in combination with both their chemical stability under
moderate conditions and their structural lability in more acidic as well as basic
environments that renders layered double hydroxides versatile host materials for corrosion
inhibiting species. Such hybrid particles thus act on different time scales and in different
modes in a polymer matrix which yields at low loadings multifunctional organic coatings:

Nanocomposite Based Multifunctional Coatings 83
1. Mechanical reinforcement and stress dissipation.
2. Diffusion barrier towards oxygen and humidity.
3. Triggered release of corrosion inhibitors.
4. Buffering local changes in pH value via structural decomposition.
5. Supply of chemical components for the formation of passivation layers and in the case
of deposited LDH-like phases an adhesion promoting layer might be of relevance for
repair coatings thus acting similar to a conversion layer.
The latter aspect deserves further investigations with respect to zinc, aluminium and
magnesium based alloys that are progressively used as materials in especially light weight
automotive body construction. Recent investigations of corrosion processes have shown that
layered double hydroxides are deposited as passivating surface layers in the course of the
anodic reaction.
Additionally related to high aspect ratios and the ability to assemble into ordered lyotropic
mesophases layered double hydroxide particles based formulations could yield textured
films that are attractive regarding automotive effect coatings which demand highly oriented
layered effect pigments like aluminium flakes or mica platelets in order to provide highest
possible viewing angle dependent optical properties of the coating. Thus it was recently
proposed that the LDH based aqueous formulation that has been described in the context of
impact resistance in this chapter might be used to impose its tendency to form ordered films
on the pigment orientation parallel to the substrates surface (Hintze-Bruening et al., 2010).
Author details
Horst Hintze-Bruening
BASF Coatings GmbH, Germany
Fabrice Leroux
Clermont University, CNRS, France
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Chapter 3
Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels
Evripidis Lois and Panagiotis Arkoudeas
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Back in the 1960s, the term “lubricity” was defined by Appeldorn and Dukek as: “If two
liquids have the same viscosity, and one gives lower friction, wear or scuffing, it is said to
have better lubricity”. It should be noted, however, that this definition was not strictly
applied and many researchers carried out lubricity experiments on fuels based on their own
understanding of the concept. The lubricating ability of fuels, because of their very low
viscosity, depends mostly on their boundary film-forming properties. Some moving parts of
diesel fuel pumps and injectors are protected from wear by the fuel. To avoid excessive
wear, the fuel must have some minimum level of lubricity. Lubricity is the ability to reduce
friction between solid surfaces in relative motion. The lubrication mechanism is a
combination of hydrodynamic lubrication and boundary lubrication. In hydrodynamic
lubrication, a layer of liquid prevents contact between the opposing metal surfaces. For
diesel fuel pumps and injectors, the liquid is the fuel itself and viscosity is not the key fuel
property as one could profoundly expect. The history of fuel lubricity is associated with
problems in engine performance as liquid-hydrocarbon based fuels must possess a
minimum of lubricating ability to be able to protect high-pressure injection pumps and
related fuel supply equipment from wear. The topic of gasoline lubricity has recently
become more urgent with the introduction of direct-injection gasoline engines, which will
necessitate high-pressure gasoline injection pumps, a development that is most likely to
place considerably more emphasis on the lubricating ability of gasoline, accelerating wear
especially in rotary distributor fuel pumps. According to pump manufacturers this loss of
lubricity may be the difference between fuels from a controlled laboratory environment and
a cost-conscious production environment. [1-7].
In the last decades, the demand for both gasoline and automotive diesel fuel has increased
rapidly and strongly. In the early 1990s, world gasoline production rose to about 800 billion
litres, about half of which was consumed in the United States. The world demand for
gasoline is estimated to be an average 20 million barrels a day. The United States is the
largest consumer with an average consumption of around 8.9 million barrels a day in 2008,

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 92
accounting for over 40% of global consumption. This was over 9 million barrels a day in
2007. However, the production of gasoline in any country depends on the type of economy
it follows. For example, while US have adopted a gasoline based economy, India is largely a
diesel based economy, leading to more production and consumption of gasoline in US and
High-Speed Diesel (HSD) in India. Moreover, the light sweet crude oil used by US, yields
more gasoline. So, there are considerable differences in the relative demand for gasoline and
diesel fuels from region to region. The refinery industry has met these challenges by
improving efficiency of crude oil utilisation, increasing the depth of crude oil processing
and reducing product losses as well as adjusting refining processes to maximise production
of either gasoline or diesel fuel [1-4, 8].
Fuel composition is a key factor in determining the lubricity of fuels, since it depends not
only on the crude oil the fuel is prepared from, but also on the refinery process, finishing
process, and blending method. The gradual increase in severity of refinement in recent years
to meet tightening environmental regulations has simultaneously reduced the concentration
of many potential lubricity agents and thus made fuel lubricity poorer. Gasoline is the
lightest liquid fraction of petroleum, boiling between about 30°C and 200°C, i.e. containing
mainly C5 to C12 hydrocarbons. It is reasonable to infer that the inherent lubricity of
gasoline will be poorer than that of aviation fuel and diesel fuel due to the lighter distillation
cut, in which natural antiwear impurity concentration will be lower. Fortunately and till
now, the lubricity requirements of gasoline are generally much lower than for diesel since
gasoline fuel injection systems inject fuel upstream of the inlet valves and thus operate at
much lower pressures than diesel fuel pumps.
In 1990s, the amount of sulphur, nitrogen and aromatics in diesel fuels was reduced by severe
hydrotreating to minimize SOX emissions from diesel powered vehicles. The use of low
sulphur diesel fuels led to numerous pump failures. To combat the loss of this lubrication,
packages of additives that increase lubricity could be blended with the fuel prior to
distribution [9]. The lubricity characteristics of diesel fuel are similar to aviation turbine fuels,
up to the middle of the 1980s, but the lubricity of diesel fuels was not considered a significant
factor that could lead to serious problems and little work concerning diesel lubricity had been
carried out. There was not widely accepted test method existed to determine the lubricity of
diesel fuels. In the 1990s, Sweden and United States introduced low sulphur, low aromatic
diesel fuels and this was followed by other countries, including Canada, Switzerland, Austria,
and Germany. Soon after the introduction of these environmental diesel fuels in the
Scandinavian and Californian markets in the early 1990s, a number of injector equipment
failures were reported from all manufacturers. These failures took place in passenger cars
working with Bosch rotary pumps after only 3000 to 10,000 km. In Europe and the USA, such
fuels have been shown to reduce the life of distributor type pumps by up to 95%. Field trials
and pump rig durability testing of both Swedish Class 1 and 2 showed that their inherent
lubricity was unacceptable [9-15]. Diesel fuel work has revealed that humidity, which reflects
environmental water vapour pressure, can have an important influence on the friction and
wear, although this was not taken into account in test work until recently [1-7, 9-15]. It is
possible to eliminate, at least to a large extent, the influence of humidity on test repeatability of
friction, wear, and film formation by carefully controlling humidity in a relative narrow range

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 93
[1-7]. A survey of low sulphur diesel fuels (sulphur content ranged from 1 to 498 ppm) has
showed that in spite of high refinement most low sulphur diesels still contain considerable
residual polyaromatics (0.3 to 2.2 %wt) and diaromatics (2 to 11% wt.). A detailed analysis of
data has suggested that even in low sulphur diesel fuels, polyaromatics may still play a more
important role than diaromatics in determining diesel lubricity.
Gasoline lubricity is a complex phenomenon, involving many complicated and
interconnecting factors, such as the presence of water, concentration of sulphur, nitrogen,
oxygenates, diolefins, diaromatics, the effect of viscosity and the synergistic effect of different
wear mechanisms. The lubricity mechanism of gasoline is quite different from that of diesel
fuels that leads to severe adhesive wear. With low-sulphur fuels, adhesive wear is observed
instead of corrosive and mild oxidative wear, and deposits build up on top land [1-4].
Metallurgy and mechanical properties of test specimens used to study wear have important
effects on the lubricating mechanisms of fuels. When the hardness of the lower specimen in an
HFRR test is not enough to support the generated oxide films formed by the reaction between
surfaces and dissolved oxygen and the adsorption films formed on top of the oxide films by
gasoline polar impurities, severe adhesion and metal transfer occur [1-7, 9-15]. The wear
behaviour of some gasolines was found to be sensitive to the time of exposure to air, in that the
wear values obtained fell slightly after the fuel container had been opened several times. This
may be due to the oxidation of gasoline components. Gasolines containing olefins, and dienes,
in particular, which have very poor oxidation stability [1-7]. However, polyaromatics in
gasolines are absent due to the lower boiling range and only a few thousandths by volume of
diaromatics, i.e. naphthalenes are present. More than 99% of aromatics in gasoline are
monoaromatic, i.e. benzene, toluene and xylenes [1-7, 16-19].
In this chapter, the effect of various compositional and physicochemical characteristics of
automotive fuels will be examined, with respect to their lubrication mechanisms.
Additionally, tribological aspects (e.g. wear scar analysis, Scan Electron microscopy, etc) of
automotive fuels and their mixtures with biofuels or/and bio-additives like essential oils will
be presented and discussed.
2. Diesel fuel lubricity and addition of essential oils
For diesel fuel, the 1980s was an important transition period from high lubricity to moderate
lubricity due to the increase of severity of refinement. Hydrotreating processes were widely
used and these doubtless caused a great reduction of natural lubricity agents in diesel fuels.
However, unlike aviation kerosene, no major lubricity problems were encountered in diesel
fuels until the late 1980s. This may be because:
a. Diesel fuel has a higher boiling temperature range than kerosene and thus contains a
larger proportion of naturally-occurring lubricity agents.
b. The severity of the refinement used in the production of early- and middle-1980s diesel
fuels was moderate and this allowed enough naturally-occurring lubricity agent to
survive during refining and maintain adequate lubricity.
c. In general, diesel fuels have higher viscosity, which is beneficial to film formation.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 94
Recent concerns over the environmental impact of diesel powered equipment have driven
various countries to legislate reductions in vehicle exhaust emission levels and changes to
diesel fuel quality. These reductions in exhaust emissions have caused changes in engine
design such as increased fuel injection pressure and control of the fuel injection. Hardware
changes tend to require improved diesel fuel lubricity to avoid excessive wear of the fuel
injection system [20-22].
Past studies showed that diesel lubricity is largely provided by trace levels of naturally
occurring polar compounds which form a protective layer on the metal surface. Typical
sulfur compounds do not confer this wear protection themselves; rather it is the heterocyclic
aromatics and nitrogen and oxygen compounds that are the most important [23-25]. A
complex mixture of polar compounds is found in diesel, and some are more active than
others. The process of hydrotreating to reduce sulfur levels also destroys some of this
natural lubricant. Other refinery processes also influence the concentration of the lubricity
agents in the final fuel blend [26]. Lubricity additives have been developed to compensate
for the deterioration in natural lubricity observed in low sulfur diesels. A moderate dosage
of chemically suitable additive is beneficial in most cases, but if the dosage is too high, some
common diesel-fuel additives can cause fuel injector deposits, water separation problems, or
premature filter plugging. These problems are not always identified in the standard fuel
specification tests, and result in field problems [27-29].
In this chapter, results are presented on the lubricating properties of low sulfur diesel fuels
additized with ten different essential oils. Data were generated to identify the minimum
concentration of the above oxygen containing compounds, which provide lubricity
improvement down to the 460 μm wear scar diameter (WSD) level. The value of 460 μm was
proposed by the European Committee for standardization (CEN) in February 1997, and
generally adopted by the industry, as the minimum requirement for an acceptable field
performance [30].
Oxygen containing compounds such as fatty acids are superior friction reducing agents.
These compounds adsorb or react on rubbing surfaces to reduce adhesion between
contacting asperities and limit friction, wear and seizure [31-34]. Wei and Spikes considered
that the significant wear reduction was produced by oxygen compounds with phenolic-type
or carboxylic acid groups and occurred at a concentration of just a few parts per million [35].
Essential oils contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids like α-Linolenic acid (18:3), Linoleic
acid (18:2), eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5), docosahexaenoic acid (22:6), gamma-linolenic acid
(18:3), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (20:3) and arachidonic acid (20:4). They also contain
ethers, esters and terpenes [36].
Although the lubricating efficiency of fatty acids and their derivatives has been closely
examined, the impact of adding other oxygenates such as essential oils has not been
examined in detail. On the other hand, the addition of these oxygenates to diesel fuel has
been proposed as a method to help complete the oxidation of carbonaceous particulate
matter and associated hydrocarbons, thereby reducing particulate matter PM emissions

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 95
2.1. Experimental procedure focused on enhancing diesel lubricity by addition
essential oils
To assess the impact of the selected oxygen components on the lubrication properties of low
sulfur automotive diesel, two fuels (A1 and A2) that comprised distillates of the
hydrodesulfurization process were obtained by a Greek refinery and were used for all the
tribological experiments as base fuels. The fuel properties are presented in Table 1, along
with the standard methods that were used for their determination.

Fuel code A1 A2 Test method
Density (kg/m
, 15°C) 0.832 0.838 ISΟ 12185
Viscosity (cSt, 40°C) 2.86 2.78 ISO 3104
CFPP (°C) -8 -11 ISO 116
Flash point (°C) 61 88 ISO 2719
Cetane number 57.9 52.2 ISO 5165
Cetane Index 55.8 49.0 ASTM D 4737
Sulphur (ppm) 31 51 ASTM D 5453
Nitrogen (ppm) 13 26 ASTM D 5762
Water (ppm) 117 154 ISO 12937
Total Acid Number (mg KOH/ g) 0.12 0.15 ISO 7537
Refractive Index 1.4595 1.4745 ISO 5661
Conductivity (pS/m, 25 °C) 48 299 ISO 6297
Calorific value (Kcal/kg) 10120 9953 ASTM D-240
Residue (% m/m) 1.32 0.92 ISO 3405
Mono-aromatics (% v/v) 22.3 23.5 ASTM D-6591
Di-aromatics (% v/v) 3.8 3.7 ASTM D-6591
Poly-aromatics (% v/v) 0.10 0.16 ASTM D-6591
Distillation (°C)
IBP 168 168 ISO 3405
10% 213 198 ISO 3405
50% 278 268 ISO 3405
90% 334 325 ISO 3405
FBP 358 349 ISO 3405
Lubricity (μm, average) 425 555 ISO 12156
Table 1. Properties of the base fuels
All tribological measurements were carried out using the HFRR apparatus, according to the
CEC F-06-A-96 method. The test temperature was 60 °C and the volume of the fuel sample
used was 2 ml. Relative humidity was kept between 55 and 59%, while the mean ambient
temperature was 24 °C. The lubricating efficiency of the fuels was estimated by measuring
the average wear scar diameter WSD of the spherical specimen by using a photomicroscope.
The wear scars quoted were corrected to give WS 1.4 values. The HFRR WS 1.4 parameter is
the mean WSD normalized to a standard vapour pressure of 1.4 kPa. The repeatability was
calculated using the following equation (1) [17]:

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 96
R 139 (0.1648 WSD1.4)    (1)
The ten essential oils used in this series of experiments, included kernel peach oil, grape
seed oil, pine oil, carrot seed oil, castor oil, camomile oil, laurel oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender
oil and rosemary oil. The carrot seed oil, castor oil, camomile oil, laurel oil, eucalyptus oil,
lavender oil, rosemary oil were obtained from Aldrich Chemical Company and they were
used as received, without further purification. However, kernel peach oil, grape seed oil and
pine oil that were not commercially available and were prepared by extracting their seeds
with alcohols and hexane. Afterward they were vacuum distilled to receive the final
products, whose properties were similar to those reported in the relevant literature. In an
effort to establish the purity of the prepared compounds, the density ݀

and the refractive
index ݊

(Table 2) were compared to the corresponding data found in literature, the purity
level of the compounds eventually used in this study was estimated to be at least 95% [40-
42]. The chemical constitution of the essential oils used in this study is complex and are
mixtures of many compounds, as shown in Table 3 and 4.

Density of pure
Refractive Index,
Refractive Index
of pure
Kernel peach oil 0.921 0.918 1.470 1.471
Grape seed oil 0.924 0.921 1.473 1.475
Pine oil 0.812 0.825 1.478 1.480
Table 2. Chemical characteristics of pure essential oils

Grape seed
Kernel peach
Camomile oil Laurel oil
seed oil
α-terpene 0-10%, α-pinene
0-10%, β-pinene 0-10%
α-pinene 4-
10%, β-
pinene 3-
sabinene 4-
<13%, β-
Sabinene 0-10%,
caryophyllene 0-10%

Trans-pinocarveol 5%,
farnesol and nerolidod
Linalool 4-
2-methylbutyl 2-methyl
propionate 0.5-25%, 2-
acetate 10-

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 97
Grape seed
Kernel peach
Camomile oil Laurel oil
seed oil
methylpropyl butyrate 0.5-
10%, 2-methylbutyl 2-
methyl butyrate 0.5-25%,
2-methylpropyl 3-methyl
butyrate 0-10%, propyl
angelate 0.5-10%, 2-
methylpropyl angelate 0.5-
25%, butyl angelate 0.5-
10%, 3-methylpentyl
angelate 0-10%, isobutyl
angelate 36-40%, isobutyl
isobutyrate 4%, 2-
methylbutyl methyl-2-
butyrate 3%, isoamyl
methyl-2-butyrate 3%,
propyl angelate 1%, hexyl
acetate 0.5-10%
18% 10%
Ketones Pinocarvone 13%
Aldehydes Myrtenal 0-10%
Oxides 1,8-cineole 0-25%

Oleic acid
linoleic acid
acid 5-11%,
Stearic acid
3-6%, α-
acid 0.3-1%,
acid 0.5-
Oleic acid 55-
70%, linoleic
acid 17-30%,
palmitic acid
4-7%, Stearic
acid 1.5-3%,
acid <1.5%,
acid <1%,
arachidic acid
acid <0.5%,
behenic acid
0.3%, myristic
acid <0.1%,
margaric acid
acid <0.1%

Table 3. Chemical structure characteristics of pure essential oils used [37]

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 98
Essential oil Castor oil Eucalyptus oil Pine oil Lavender oil Rosemary oil
α-pinene 3.7%,
β-pinene 1.0%,
myrcene 2.0%
α-pinene 22-43%, β-
pinene 3-33%,
limonene 0.7-4.1%,
δ-3-carene 0.4-31%,
β-caryophyllene 0.7-
5.5%, camphene 1.6-
3.3%, sabinene 0.2-
0.6%, γ-terpinene
0.1-0.5%, trans-
ocimene 0.7-1.4%, β-
phellandrene 1-
2.7%, p-cumene 0-
0.2%, terpinolene
α-pinene 0.02-
1.1%, β-pinene
0.1-0.2%, cis-
ocimene 1.3-
10.9%, trans-
ocimene 0.8-5.8%,
limonene 0.2-7%
α-pinene 15-
γ-cadinene 0.5-5.4%,
α-copaene 0-0.2%,
longifolene 0-0.2%,
β-guaiene 0.2-0.7%,
γ-muurolene trace-
0.4%, α-humelene
trace-0.5%, γ-
patchoulene trace-
0.4%, γ-cadinene
trace-0.3%, α-
muurolene trace-1%
2.6-7.6%, β-
farnesene 1%

Linalool 0.4%,
geraniol 2.6%,
Borneol 2%,
terpinene-4-ol 1%,
epi-α-cadinol <1%,
<1%, α-cadinol 0-
Linalool 26-49%,
0.03-6.4%, α-
terpineol 0.1-
1.4%, borneol 0.8-
1.4%, geraniol
1%, lavandulol
Borneol trace-
Esters Bornyl acetate 0-3%
Linalyl acetate
acetate 0.2-5.9%,
terpenyl acetate
0.5%, geranyl
acetate 0.5%

Octanone-3 0.5-
Verbenone 15-
37%, camphor
Aldehydes Citronellal 0-0.2%
Myrtenal 0.1%,
cuminal 0.4%,

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 99
Essential oil Castor oil Eucalyptus oil Pine oil Lavender oil Rosemary oil
0.2%, neral and
genarial 0.4%,
1,8 cineole 62-

1,8 cineole 0.5-
1,8 cineole
Ricinoleic acid
85-95%, oleic
acid 2-6%,
linoleic acid 1-
5%, linolenic
acid 0.5-1%,
stearic acid o.5-
1%, palmitic
ic acid 0.3-0.5%

Table 4. Chemical structure characteristics of pure essential oils used [37]
The ten essential oils were examined for their lubricating performance using the base fuels
A1 and A2. Base fuel A1 had an average wear scar diameter (WS 1.4) of less than 460 μm,
whereas base fuel A2 showed an increased wear scar diameter (WS 1.4) of more than 460
μm. All oils were dissolved in the base fuels at the same concentration levels, i.e. 200, 500,
1000 and 5000 ppmw. The fuel properties of the pure essential oils, including their WS 1.4
values, are presented in Tables 5a and 5b.

Essential oil
Grape seed
Kernel peach
Camomile oil Laurel oil
Carrot seed
Density (kg/m
, 15°C) 0.924 0.921 0.929 0.940 0.923
Viscosity (cSt, 40°C) 29.90 35.56 28.15 52.05 32.51
Potassium (ppm) 8 4 4 3 2
Sodium (ppm) 1 2 2 2 1
Flash point (°C) 165 326 55 56 51
Calorific value
10084 10268 10378 10227 10029
Residue (% m/m) 0.067 0.025 0.037 0.086 0.035
Sulphur (ppm) 5 8 3 5 8
Nitrogen (ppm) 7 17 9 18 11
Water (ppm) 741 421 693 1698 334
Ash (% m/m) 0 0 0 0 0
Lubricity (μm ,
152 117 169 217 237

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 100
Essential oil Castor oil Eucalyptus oil Pine oil Lavender oil
Density (kg/m
, 15°C) 0.966 0.798 0.812 0.789 0.774
Viscosity (cSt, 40°C) 207.33 1.32 1.90 1.12 1.23
Potassium (ppm) 10 5 6 7 3
Sodium (ppm) 0 2 0 1 1
Flash point (°C) 228 48 38 75 49
Calorific value
9854 9841 9826 9564 9339
Residue (% m/m) 0.003 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.001
Sulphur (ppm) 9 0 0 0 0
Nitrogen (ppm) 3 0 3 0 2
Water (ppm) 3035 126 57 201 167
Ash (% m/m) 0.010 0 0 0 0
Lubricity (μm ,
151 406 487 350 462
Table 5. Properties of pure essential oils.
2.2. Results and discussion
The two base fuels were initially analyzed to determine their lubrication effectiveness. The
average wear scar diameter WSD values for the two base fuels are given in Table 1. It is
evident that base fuel A1 has WSD value under the acceptable limit of 460 μm, and is char-
acterized as fuel with good lubricating properties. Base fuel A2 has WSD value over the
acceptable limit of 460 μm, and is characterized as fuel with poor lubricating properties.
Consequently, these fuels were well suited to determine the response of essential oils on
their lubrication properties.
Figure 1 shows the impact of adding essential oils on the lubricity of base fuel A1. On the
basis of the HFRR test results, grape seed oil increases the lubricity of the base fuel. Τhe
WSD value decreased from 425 μm to approximately 365 μm at the concentration range 200-
5000 ppm, the optimum value being at 1000 ppm. In the case of kernel peach oil, the WSD
value decreased from 425 μm to approximately 335 μm, the lowest value obtained again at
the concentration of 1000 ppm. In the case of camomile oil, the WSD value decreased from
425 μm to approximately 335 μm, the minimum value being exhibited at 1000 ppm. Similar
behaviour if followed by carrot oil, the minimum value for lubricity being 353 μm. Laurel
oil, decreases the WSD value from 425 μm to approximately 267 μm at the concentration of
5000 ppm. The addition of eucalyptus oil, causes WSD value to increase from 425 μm to
approximately 581 μm at the concentration range 200-5000 ppm. Similarly pine oil, increases
the WSD value from 425 μm to approximately 543 μm, the minimum value being observed
at 200 ppm. Lavender oil, increases the WSD value for all the concentrations examined,

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 101

Figure 1. Impact of essential oils addition on the lubrication properties of fuel A1
Concentration (ppm)


Grape seed oil 425 384 370 352 365
Kernel peach oil 425 382 430 335 388
Camomile oil 425 357 368 335 366
Laurel oil 425 337 379 273 267
Carrot seed oil 425 357 404 353 395
Castor oil 425 306 395 399 327
Eucalyptus oil 425 479 404 460 581
Pine oil 425 376 493 515 543
Lavender oil 425 553 595 542 535
Rosemary oil 425 552 557 581 532
0 ppm 200 ppm 500 ppm 1000 ppm 5000 ppm

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 102
reaching a maximum at 595 μm. Similarly, rosemary oil increases the WSD value for all the
concentrations examined. In contrast to eucalyptus oil, pine oil, lavender oil and rosemary
oil, the addition of grape seed oil, kernel peach oil, camomile oil, laurel oil and carrot
seed oil improved the base fuel lubricity. On the other hand, small concentrations of the
pine oil and the eucalyptus oil, 200 and 500 ppm respectively, were sufficient to set
the WS 1.4 value well within the required limit of 460 μm. However, a further increase in the
concentration to 5000 ppm for the grape seed oil, kernel peach oil, camomile oil, carrot seed
oil, eucalyptus and pine oil, led to an increase in the WSD value. The analysis of
the trend curves of the eucalyptus oil, pine oil, lavender oil and rosemary oil show that the
required treat rate to obtain a satisfactory WSD (WS 1.4) of 460 μm was 200 ppm
for the pine oil and 500 ppm for the eucalyptus oil, while the other two oils could not
obtain a satisfactory WSD of 460 μm for any of the concentrations tested. If one examines the
experimental data closely, it appears that the essential oils as they increase
their density and viscosity, they improve their lubrication performance in the range of
200-5000 ppm.
Figure 2 gives the effect of essential oils on the tribological properties of fuel A2. It can be
seen that grape seed oil, kernel peach oil, camomile oil, laurel oil, carrot seed oil and castor
oil provide satisfactory HFRR mean WSD (WS 1.4) of less than 460 μm at the concentration
level of 200 ppm. Any further increase in the concentration of these oils led to a slight
increase or decrease in the WSD values.
It should be noted that when 200 ppm of pine oil was added to the base fuel, the
tribological results showed a significant improvement in WSD value of 450 μm. Further
addition of pine oil in concentrations between 500 and 5000 ppm increased the WSD
It is evident that in order to improve the lubrication properties of low sulfur diesel fuels,
small concentration levels of grape seed oil, kernel peach oil, camomile oil, laurel oil,
carrot seed oil and castor oil ranging from 200 to 500 ppm are sufficient to bring the
WSD value within the required limit. In the Tables 5a and 5b, it can be seen that lavender
oil and eucalyptus oil provide satisfactory HFRR mean WSD (WS 1.4) of less than 460 μm
as pure essential oils, but as additives have worse lubricating properties. Similar
conclusions may be drawn if one considers the chemical constitutions of eucalyptus oil,
pine oil, lavender oil and rosemary oil where the terpenes (monoterpenes and
sesquiterpenes) and oxides (1,8-cineole) do not help in the direction of improving the
lubricating ability of essential oils, Table 3. In contrast, essential fatty acids play an
important role providing better lubricating performance (castor oil, kernel peach oil and
grape seed oil). In general, esters seem to appear a better lubricating performance as their
density increases.
Overall, it appears that the essential oils having higher density and viscosity improved their
lubrication performance in the range of 200-5000 ppm.

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 103

Figure 2. Impact of essential oils addition on the lubrication properties of fuel A2
Concentration (ppm)


Grape seed oil 555 434 425 408 418
Kernel peach oil 555 433 455 385 437
Camomile oil 555 407 403 388 418
Laurel oil 555 377 426 333 326
Carrot seed oil 555 403 454 401 449
Castor oil 555 360 438 441 385
Eucalyptus oil 555 499 464 490 602
Pine oil 555 450 538 544 589
Lavender oil 555 604 642 587 576
Rosemary oil 555 588 591 632 565
0 ppm 200 ppm 500 ppm 1000 ppm 5000 ppm

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 104
3. Gasoline fuel lubricity
Gasoline lubricity is a complex phenomenon, involving many complicated and
interconnecting factors, such as the presence of water, oxygenates diolefins, diaromatics, the
effect of viscosity and the synergistic effect of different wear mechanisms. The lubricity
mechanism of gasoline is quite different from that of diesel fuels that leads to severe
adhesive wear. With low-sulphur fuels, adhesive wear is observed instead of corrosive and
mild oxidative wear, and deposits build up on top land.
Metallurgy and mechanical properties of test specimens have important effects on the
lubricating mechanisms of fuels. When the hardness of the lower specimen in an HFRR test
is not enough to support the generated oxide films formed by the reaction between surfaces
and dissolved oxygen and the adsorption films formed on top of the oxide films by gasoline
polar impurities, severe adhesion and metal transfer occur.
Fuel quality in recent years became increasingly important, not only for its role in the actual
performance of the vehicles, but also for its impact on the emissions. However, the fuel
pump at the service stations is the point at which the actual specifications of the fuels should
be ascertained [43]. In this chapter, results are presented on the gasoline properties impact
on lubricity, based on the study of numerous petrol samples.
3.1. Experimental procedure
The two principal problems in testing gasoline regarding the lubricity, are evaporation of
gasoline fuel due to its very high volatility and the extreme sensitivity of gasoline lubricity
to tiny amounts of contaminant. Researchers have recently reached to the solution to modify
the conventional HFRR test method for studying diesel fuels, principally by deepening the
fuel holder so that a larger sample of fuel could be accommodated and by covering the
lubricant test chamber with a close-fitting lid. The test rig is also completely enclosed in a
plastic box from Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This enabled the humidity of the test to be
controlled, a factor that has been shown to influence wear of fuels, and also helped retain
gasoline vapors.
The test conditions used for the gasoline tests were chosen to be identical to those specified
for diesel fuel tests according to ISO 12515-1 except for the fuel temperature. A fuel
temperature of 25
C was employed in all gasoline tests. It is important to mention that fuel
tests were carried out in compliance with the standard ASTM G 133 as there is not as yet a
standard for gasoline lubricity.
The following gasoline properties were determined since they are directly related to the
exhaust emissions: Research Octane Number (RON), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Olefins,
Saturates, MTBE and Total Aromatics were determined using the mid-IR method, while
Sulfur and Nitrogen content was measured using the ANTEK 9000NS elemental analyser
according to ASTM D 5453 and ASTM D 5762 respectively. Gasoline vapour pressure

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 105
measurements were conducted with a Setavap Vapour Pressure tester 22420-3. The Setavap
Vapour Pressure results were converted to DVPE in strict conformance with the
requirements of ISO 3007 method, using the appropriate conversion equation. Potassium
content (an additive used in lead replaced gasoline (LRP) to protect valve seat recession)
was measured using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) according to IP 456.
Viscosity was determined at 15
C and 25
C using the Anton Paar viscometer by ASTM D
7042. Distillation data including the value of residue were obtained according to the
procedure of ISO 3405. Also, the ISO 10370 method was used for the calculation of residue
and the examination of adulteration with heavier distillates or solvents. It should be
mentioned that sulphur content is a physical marker concerning the matter of gasoline
adulteration with heavier distillates of petroleum. Water content and conductivity (at 20
were also measured according to the standards ISO 12937 and ISO 6297, respectively. Also,
Total Acid Number (TAN) was measured according to the standard ISO 7537. The TAN
value might indicate the potential of corrosion problems.
One hundred twenty six (126) samples of commercial gasolines were collected from service
stations located all over Athens and its suburbs. They consisted of 40 samples of LRP
gasoline, 46 samples of unleaded gasoline and 40 samples of super unleaded. The analysis of
the samples showed that 19 samples were found to be adulterated (3 unleaded, 10 LRP and
6 super unleaded). Also, thirty six (36) samples of non-additized gasolines were tested,
which were produced by mixing in different proportions the following refinery streams:
FCC, Isomerate, Alkylate, Dimate, Reformate, MTBE and ETBE which were obtained by the
Hellenic Petroleum refinery installations in 2005. The above samples were not randomly
classified during their preparation but they stemmed from a multivariate analysis of
variance and an appropriate empirical and statistical process to evaluate and predict the
values of Research Octane Number, density, vapour pressure and benzene content (< 1%
v/v) of the final mixtures.
Gas chromatography was applied to the quantitative determination of paraffins,
isoparaffins, olefins, naphthenes and aromatics with 3 to 12 carbon atoms according to the
standard methodology described by CAN/CGSB-3.0 No. 14.3M93.
Emphasis was given to the experimental procedure because of the amount of samples and
properties measured, in order to ensure that no contamination or lighter substances loss
would influence the final result of the measured values. The values of the properties were
statistically analyzed and compared as a completely randomized factorial experiment to
assess whether and how the different type of gasoline fuel and the measured properties
affect the lubricity using analysis of variance and complex neural networks [35, 36]. The
lubricating properties of gasolines were expressed from the value of mean wear scar
diameter (MWSD1.4) of the spherical specimen, detected using a photomicroscope to an
accuracy ± 1μm and were corrected at the absolute water pressure 1.4 kPa at the
temperature of 25
C. It was found that the sensitivity to humidity of friction, wear and film
formation of gasoline and diesel is quite different in different humidity ranges. In the range

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 106
of water vapour pressure less than about 0.8 kPa, wear increases rapidly with humidity and
then remains insensitive to humidity with increasing humidity. This phenomenon may
suggest the presence of a transition concentration of dissolved water in gasolines.
The appearance of the transition may be explained by different effects of dissolved water on
the lubricity performance of fuels themselves, oxide film formation in rubbing surfaces, as
well as the interfacial chemistry of protective film formation by naturally-occurred antiwear
agents in fuels. The results of previous studies suggest that the influence of humidity on the
measurement of friction, wear and film formation of fuels can be, at least to a large extent,
eliminated by carefully controlling humidity in a certain range, say from 0.9 to 1.2 kPa.
The optical assessment of the wear and the possible wear mechanisms that took place
during the experimental process, were evaluated with back scattered electron imaging,
quantitative x-ray analysis, and x-ray mapping of the surface of the metal specimens using
SEM technique (Scanning Electronic Microscope). Additionally, the samples were
photographed using scanning probe microscopy for the metal surfaces.
3.2. Results and discussion
3.2.1. Gasoline lubricity evaluation
Examination of the gasoline lubricity has shown that the majority of the samples for the 36
non-additized gasoline fuels were above the acceptance limit of diesel lubricity, the 460-
μm limit. The values ranged from 711 μm to 1064 μm as shown in Figure 3. The
preliminary results on a non-additized gasoline showed that the repeatability of the
modified HFRR test is quite good. The tested samples were evaluated three repeated
times, in order to obtain the mean lubricity value. The commercial gasolines were
evaluated twice, to obtain their mean lubricity value. Their values ranged from 279 μm to
846 μm as shown in Figure 4. On the contrary, most of the samples of LRP gasoline were
near the limit of 460-μm indicating that the presence of the potassium additive had a main
effect on the lubricating properties of fuels. The limit of 460-limit is even lower if we
consider the reduction of temperature to 25°C (about 400 μm). Adulterated new super
gasolines with unleaded gasoline have poorer lubricating properties, as shown in Figure
4. It is obvious that unleaded and super unleaded gasolines have much higher lubricity
values than LRP gasolines. Especially, samples with sulphur content below 50 ppm and
nitrogen content below 10 ppm, exhibit extremely high lubricity values above the limit of
700 μm after appropriate statistical analysis (Factor Analysis, Two-step cluster analysis
and Neural network approach).
There was no linear or other type of correlation between the concentration of potassium and
the lubricity, but after statistical approach, emerges that with a concentration above 5 ppm K
there may be a significant reduction of MWSD1.4 value near the limit of 460 μm, as shown
in Figure 5. The factors most likely to cause the observed differences in lubricity are the bulk
fuel composition, the use of additives and the use of oxygenates.

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 107

Figure 3. Lubricity mean values (CWSD1.4 – Corrected Wear Scar Diameter at 1.4 kPa water pressure)
for the non-additized gasoline samples B1-B36.

Figure 4. Gasoline lubricity mean values (CWSD1.4 – Corrected Wear Scar Diameter at 1.4 kPa water
pressure) for the three commercial types (Unleaded, Super Unleaded and LRP).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 108

Figure 5. Potassium content of LRP gasoline fuels versus lubricity (CWSD1.4)
The diagrams for the variation of the lubricity values with the coefficient of friction and film
are shown in Figures 6 and 7 respectively. In Figure 5, there appears a linear correlation
between the gasoline lubricity and the coefficient of friction for the whole series of the
samples, non-additized and commercial samples (R
=0.85 and 0.88 respectively). This strong
linear relationship between the coefficient of friction and lubricity is due to the wear
mechanism of the gasoline fuel and especially adhesive wear which is the most basic sub-
category observed. In Figure 7, two regions were observed according to the variation of the
film in relation to the lubricity values. The repeatability limits (R) for these two regions can
be calculated according to the following equations (2, 3) which resulted from statistical and
mathematical analysis, while the limit in which this difference was observed at the variation
of the film with the lubricity values concure to the mean value of lubricity for the
commercial samples:
If MWSD1.4 589 m, then R 137 – 0.0854 x MWSD1.4    (2)
If MWSD1.4 589 m, then R 137 – 0.1094 x MWSD1.4    (3)
A possible explanation for the formation of two film categories, maybe the severe adhesive
wear and metal transfer occurring in the unleaded, super unleaded and adulterated
gasolines, exhibited in Figure 7 as the lower plateau.
3.2.2. Gasoline fuel comparison
The adulterated fuel samples were isolated and two statistical computations were carried
out each time, one with these adulterated samples and the other without them. The spread
of the values can be depicted using box-plots. Figure 8 shows the median, quartiles, and
extreme values of lubricity for each type of gasoline fuel. Each box plot displays the 50%
percentage of samples’ population in the square area, the 75% percentage of them within the

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 109

Figure 6. Gasoline lubricity mean values (CWSD1.4) versus coefficient of friction for 126 commercial
gasoline fuels.

Figure 7. Gasoline lubricity mean values (CWSD1.4) versus film for 126 commercial gasoline fuels.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 110

Figure 8. Box plot analysis – First statistical graphic approach to the data (1=Unleaded, 2=Adulterated
Unleaded, 3=LRP, 4=Adulterated LRP, 5=Super Unleaded, 6= Adulterated Super Unleaded).
upper and lower limit and the extreme values which are cases with values more than 3 box
lengths from the upper or lower edge of the box. It is shown that LRP gasolines have a much
better representative sample population indicating good lubricating properties compared
with the other two types of gasoline. One unleaded gasoline has shown extreme good
lubricity value, 279μm, but it is assumed to be caused by the use of special anti-wear or
other additives. Because all the properties were not normally distributed for correlation
analysis with Pearson correlation coefficient, the correlation coefficients of Spearman and
Kendall’s tau-b were chosen to be computed. The effect of the properties on the gasoline
lubricity is different for each type of gasoline. The chemical structure and the related
individual physical properties seemed to inter-correlate in their effect on lubricity in
different degree for each type of gasoline.
More specifically, the statistically significant coefficients showed that unleaded gasoline
samples appear to have lower values of wear diameter, as sulphur and nitrogen content,
saturates and viscosity increased. On the contrary, unleaded gasolines appear to have
greater values as toluene, oxygen, MTBE and vapor pressure increased.
LRP gasolines appear to have lower values of wear diameter as sulphur, potassium and
nitrogen content, conductivity (non-adulterated samples), saturates and viscosity increased.
On the contrary, LRP gasolines appear to have greater values as the total acid number,
benzene, aromatics and xylene is increased.

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 111
Finally, super unleaded gasolines appear to have lower values of wear as sulphur content,
nitrogen content and olefins increased. On the contrary, super unleaded gasolines seem to
have greater values as toluene, xylene, water, benzene, aromatics and oxygen increased.
Linear regression and categorial regression was applied for each type of commercial
gasoline fuel and was concluded that the gasoline lubricity values could be predicted
accurately by models if we know at least 15 to 20 physicochemical and constituent
characteristics of the fuels measured for the commercial and non-additized gasoline
samples, excluding the tribological characteristics such as the coefficient of friction, film and
absolute water pressure.
Neural network approach showed that the concentration of cyclic olefins with 6,7,8,9 and 11
carbon atoms and normal olefins with 5 and 8 carbon atoms increases with the lubricity,
while the concentration of normal paraffins with 4,7,9,10 and 11 carbon atoms decreases
with the lubricity. Also, it was confirmed that the percentage of dimate stream, the
concentration of total normal olefins (% w/w) and the concentration of olefins (% v/v)
increases with the lubricity, as shown in Figure 9.
Numerical analysis for the refinery streams that were blended together in order to evaluate the
gasoline lubricity of non-additized gasoline fuels showed the optimal proportions for each
stream which lead to a minimum lubricity as shown in Table 6. We conclude that a percentage
of 8 to 9% v/v of oxygenate such as MTBE and ETBE with the an optimum composition for the
rest streams can give us a minimum lubricity and an increase in the percentage of isomerate
stream in contrast with FCC and reformate stream proportions which would lead to a
minimum lubricity, taking into account the modern refinery practice used.

Figure 9. Predicted and observed values showing a linear effect of the percentage of dimate stream, the
concentration of total normal olefins (% w/w) and the concentration of olefins (% v/v) on lubricity mean
values (CWSD1.4).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 112
Addition limits

Optimum percentage of
max min
Reformate 0.26 0.50 0.11
FCC 0.35 0.50 0.20
Alkylate 0.10 0.15 0.00
Dimate 0.00 0.05 0.00
Isomerate 0.21 0.30 0.10
MTBE or ETBE 0.09 or 0.08 0.13 0.00
Table 6. Data of numerical analysis for optimum percentage of addition.
3.2.3. Viscosity and density effect
There is no specification limit for the viscosity of gasoline fuels. It was decided to test all the
samples at the temperatures of 15
C and 25
C. During the statistical process, a linear
correlation between the viscosity and density appeared (R
= 0.92, 0.98 and 0.90 for unleaded,
LRP and super unleaded samples respectively). Figure 10 shows the correlation between
density and viscosity for all the gasoline samples for each type separately. Both these
properties are greatly influenced by the composition of the fuel.
This enhances the fact that the compositional characteristics of the fuel do influence the
gasoline lubricity to a considerable degree, but there is not any linear or other correlation
between density and viscosity with lubricity.

Figure 10. Graphs indicating linear correlation between viscosity and density at 15°C.

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 113
3.2.4. Scanning electron microscopy results
The quantitative x-ray analysis of SEM showed the existence of the elemental chlorine in six
of the nine cases. The level of the chlorine content was greater than the potassium content
which was detected using the same technique. There is strong evidence that the level of
concentration for the chlorine in the gasoline fuels varies from 0.1 to few ppm as
potentiometric titrations revealed (ASTM D 4929). Only very small quantities of impurities
containing chlorine are present in gasolines but they can chemically react with the metal
surface under high pressure conditions. The activity of halogenated hydrocarbons increases
with decreasing stability of the carbon-halogen bond. At local contact temperatures ranging
between 305-330 °C, the additive thermally decomposes and the reactive halogen atoms
form a surface layer of iron halogenides on the part surface. Eventual failure of the contact
point comes when the contact temperature exceeds the melting point of the iron halide
layer. Under such conditions, small particles of carbon are generated as well.
More elements were detected, such as Κ, Fe, S, Si, Cl, Cu, Cr and Mn in accordance with the
preliminary data of the elemental analysis for the specific batch of specimens that were used
apart from the sulfur concentration which originated from the fuel constituents.
It was observed that the material first transferred to the ring was a disc grey layer which then
oxidized and detached as fine brown powder, either haematite (-Fe2O3) or hydrohaematite
(-Fe2O3.nH2O). Three wear processes were suggested: (a) transfer of metal from ball to disc,
(b) oxidation of transferred layer and (c) removal of the oxide as detached debris.
In the HFRR tests in the current study, a ball-on-flat contact geometry was used, similar to
those described above. However the upper specimen is hard, 750~850 VPN (kg/mm
) and
lower specimen, soft 190~210 VPN. In such a system, strong adhesion transfers material
from soft to hard specimen. Oxidation, or probably severe cold working, will then transform
the layers into hard abrasive lump or debris.
In HFRR tests, strong adhesion resulted in transfer of the material of soft flat specimen to
the hard ball specimen and the transferred layers then formed wear particles. Therefore,
abrasive wear is a wear process secondary to adhesive wear. The key property a material
needs to resist abrasive wear is hardness. Moisture also has a strong influence on abrasive
wear rates. Usually, abrasive wear rate increases with increasing moisture content.
In the case of gasolines, the corrosive medium can consist of gasoline components,
additives, dissolved water or dissolved oxygen for corrosive and oxidative wear. Except for
trace amount of polar impurities the most chemically-active gasoline components are
olefins, including monoolefin and diolefins.
The severe adhesive wear in gasolines can be depressed by adding moderately reactive
additives, such as corrosion inhibitors. The minimum gasoline wear can probably be obtained
by carefully selecting the corrosivity of antiwear additives to balance adhesive wear/corrosive
wear. In the case of gasoline, three different types of wear, i.e. adhesive wear, abrasive wear
and corrosive wear persist together and probably interact synergistically.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 114
The amount of oxygen and water dissolved in gasoline fuels is quite important. The mean
value for water content was 208 ppm (maximum value 618 ppm and minimum 64 ppm) and
the mean value for oxygen content was 1.07 % w/w (maximum value 2.87 % w/w and
minimum 0.14 % w/w). In most cases, the water absorbed by gasolines from the atmosphere
reached the water solubility in gasoline. Therefore if humidity increases further, the water
content in gasolines does not increase, so neither does the wear.
Figures 11 and 12 depict the wear mechanisms mentioned above.

Figure 11. SEM images for commercial gasoline samples.

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 115

Figure 12. SEM images for commercial gasoline samples.
4. Conclusions
In an effort to investigate the impact of essential oils on the tribological properties of low
sulfur diesel fuels, ten essential oils were added to low sulfur fuels. The following
conclusions can be drawn from this study:
1. Six of the ten essential oils used, i.e. grape seed oil, kernel peach oil, camomile oil, laurel
oil, carrot seed oil and castor oil provided satisfactory HFRR mean WSD (WS 1.4) of less
than 460 μm, for concentration levels between 200 and 5000 ppm.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 116
2. The other four essential oils, i.e. eucalyptus oil, pine oil, lavender oil and rosemary oil ,
could not obtain a satisfactory WSD of 460 μm, even for the base fuel A1 which has WSD
value under the acceptable limit of 460 μm, except from the pine oil at the concentration
level of 200 ppm and the eucalyptus oil at the concentration level of 500 ppm.
3. Lubricating mechanisms of essential oils are probably controlled by some of the
constituents present in essential oils and their polar constituent contribution but this
needs further investigation.
4. Overall, it appears that the essential oils having increased density and viscosity exhibit
improved lubricating performance in the range of 200-5000 ppm.
From the study on gasoline lubricity it was concluded that to a large extent, gasoline
lubrication has to rely on its bulk components to provide good film forming lubricating
ability, except the inherent ability of tiny polar amounts or other impurities to provide film-
forming characteristics during an applicant load. Conductivity values of LRP gasolines
indicate the influence of such polar compounds as potassium additives and their ability to
be activated to form chemical bonds in the metal surface above 5 ppm limit concentration.
Nineteen gasoline samples were found to be adulterated based on the quinizarin tracing and
the sulphur content. Also, some of these samples were found to be mixed up with aromatic
solvents. But, most of the key properties of the gasoline fuels were found to comply with the
current EU legislation. The degree of adulteration does influence the lubricity especially for
additized LRP gasoline samples altering the final values.
The findings of this research, verified the poorer lubricating properties of gasoline fuels
compared with that of diesel fuels. Different type of gasoline fuel is affected in different degree
from the compositional characteristics of the fuel and its physico-chemical properties.
Potassium concentration seems to play a significant role even in very low concentrations
protecting satisfactorily from wear under boundary conditions.
The amount of water that could be absorbed during handling must be taking into account.
It is known that certain alkali compounds may accelerate the oxidation of certain organic
compounds which are found in the gasoline fuels. However, further research on the
oxidation stability of gasoline fuels and its effect on gasoline lubricity must be initiated in
this direction.
Author details
Evripidis Lois and Panagiotis Arkoudeas
National Technical University of Athens, School of Chemical Engineering, Greece
5. References
[1] P. Arkoudeas, F. Zannikos, D. Karonis, E. Lois, Lubricity assessment of gasoline fuels
Fuel Processing Technology (In process)

Lubricating Aspects of Automotive Fuels 117
[2] P. Arkoudeas, E. Lois, F. Zannikos (2008) The tribological behaviour of essential oils in
low sulphur automotive diesel Fuel Volume 87 Issues 17-18 Pages 3648-3654
[3] G. Aanastopoulos, P. Arkoudeas, E. Lois, F. Zannikos, S. Kalligeros, P. Shoinas (2003)
Study of the tribological properties of automotive diesel – effect of sulphur and nitrogen
compounds 4
Greek National Congress of Chemical Engineering in Patras
[4] Arkoudeas P., Karonis D., Lois E., Korres D., Karavalakis G., (2005) Vegetable oils,
essential oils and their derivatives as substitutes and anti-wear additives of diesel
engines 1
National Greek Congress of Alternative Fuels in Athens
[5] Spikes HA, Wei DP. (2000) Fuel lubricity—fundamentals and review Fuels International
[6] Hadley JW, Owen GC, Mills B. (1993) Evaluation of high frequency reciprocating wear
test for measuring diesel fuel lubricity SAE paper 932692.
[7] Wei D., (2000) Thirty years of research on fuel lubricity Shigou Xuebao Shigou Jiagong.
[8] Miura M, Ikeda T, Takizawa H, Yoshida H, Ikebe H. (1997) Study on lubricity of low
sulfur diesel fuels SAE Paper 972895.
[9] Lacey PI, Lestz SJ. (1992) Effect of low lubricity fuels on diesel injection pumps—Part I:
field performance SAE Paper 920823.
[10] Lacey PI, Lestz SJ. (1992) Effect of low lubricity fuels on diesel injection pumps—Part II:
laboratory evaluation SAE Paper 920824.
[11] Barbour RH, Rickeard DJ, Elliott NG. (2000) Understanding diesel lubricity SAE Paper
[12] Wei DP. (1986) The lubricity of fuels I. Wear studies on diesel fuel components Acta
Petrolei Sinica 2:79-87.
[13] Wei DP. (1990) The lubricity of fuels II. Wear studies using model compounds Acta
Petrolei Sinica 4:90-95.
[14] Wei DP. (1990) The lubricity of fuels. III. Wear studies on diesel fuels Acta Petrolei
Sinica 6:15-19.
[15] Tucker RF, Stradling RJ, Wolveridge PE, Rivers KJ, Unbbens A. (1994) The lubricity of
deeply hydrogenated diesel fuels—the Swedish experience SAE Paper 942016.
[16] Anastopoulos G, Lois E, Karonis D, Zanikos F, Stournas S, Kalligeros S. (2001) A
preliminary evaluation of esters of mono-carboxylic acids on the lubrication properties
of low sulfur diesel fuels Ind Engng Chem Res 40:452-6.
[17] CEC F-06-A-96. Measurement of diesel fuel lubricity—approved test method. HFRR
Fuel Lubricity Test.
[18] Wei D-P, Spikes H.A. (2000) Fuel Lubricity – Fundamentals and Review, Fuels
International p-45-65.
[19] P.I. Lacey, R.L. Mason. (2000) Fuel Lubricity: Statistical Analysis of Literature Data SAE
paper 2000-01-1917.
[20] Miura M, Ikeda T, Takizawa H, Yoshida H, Ikebe H. (1997) Study on lubricity of low
sulfur diesel fuels SAE Paper 972895.
[21] Cameron F. (1998) Lubricity of California diesel fuel SAE Paper 981362.
[22] Nikanjam M. (1993) Development of the first CARB certified California alternative
diesel fuel SAE Paper 930728.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 118
[23] Wei DP. (1986) The lubricity of fuels I. Wear studies on diesel fuel components Acta
Petrolei Sinica 2:79-87.
[24] Wei DP. (1990) The lubricity of fuels II. Wear studies using model compounds Acta
Petrolei Sinica 4:90-95.
[25] Wei DP. (1990) The lubricity of fuels III. Wear studies on diesel fuels Acta Petrolei
Sinica 6:15-19.
[26] Tucker RF, Stradling RJ, Wolveridge PE, Rivers KJ, Unbbens A. (1994) The lubricity of
deeply hydrogenated diesel fuels—the Swedish experience SAE Paper 942016.
[27] Caprotti R, Bovington C, Fowler WJ, Taylor MG. (1992) Additive technology as a way to
improve diesel fuel quality SAE Paper 922183.
[28] Batt RJ, McMillan JA, Bradbury IP. (1996) Lubricity additives performance and no harm
effects in low sulfur fuels SAE Paper 961943.
[29] Nikanjam M., Burk E. (1994) Diesel fuel lubricity additive study SAE Paper 942014.
[30] EN 590 (2003) Automotive fuels-Diesel-Requirements and test methods.
[31] Galbraith RM, Hertz PB (1997) The Bocle test for diesel and biodiesel fuel lubricity SAE
Paper 972862.
[32] Hertz PB. (1995) Winter engine wear comparisons with a canola biodiesel fuel blend
Saskatchewan Canola Commission Report.
[33] Anastopoulos G, Lois E, Serdari A, Zanikos F, Stournas S, Kalligeros S.(2001)
Lubrication properties of low-sulfur diesel fuels in the presence of specific types of fatty
acid derivatives Energy Fuels 15:106-12.
[34] Anastopoulos G, Lois E, Karonis D, Zanikos F, Stournas S, Kalligeros S. (2001) A
preliminary evaluation of esters of mono-carboxylic acids on the lubrication properties
of low sulfur diesel fuels Ind Engng Chem Res 40:452-6.
[35] Wei D, Spikes H. (1986) The lubricity of diesel fuels. Wear 111:217- 35.
[36] Wanda Sellar. (2001) The Directory of Essential Oils Reprint, Essex: The C.W. Daniel
Company, Ltd.
[37] Tsurutani K, Takei Y, Fujimoto Y, Matsudaira J, Kumamoto M. (1995) The effects of fuel
properties and oxygenates on diesel exhaust emissions SAE Paper 952349.
[38] Akasaka Y, Sukurai Y. (1994) Effects of oxygenated fuel and Cetane improver on
exhaust emissions from heavy-duty DI diesel engines SAE Paper 942023.
[39] Bruce A. Buchholz, Charles J. Mueller, Glen C. Martin, A. S. Cheng, Robert W. Dibble
and Brian R. Frantz. (2004) Tracing fuel component carbon in the emissions from diesel
engines Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam
Interactions with Materials and Atoms 223-224:837-841
[40] Catalog handbook of fine chemicals (2005-2006) Aldrich Chemical Company, Inc.
[41] Vogel’s textbook of practical organic chemistry (1989) 5th ed. Bath Press.
[42] Wanda Sellar, (2001) The Directory of Essential Oils Reprint, Essex: The C.W. Daniel
Company Ltd.
[43] A.J. Von Wielligh, N.D.L. Burger, T.L. Wilcocks (2003) Diesel Engine Failures due to
Combustion Disturbances, caused by Fuel with Insufficient Lubricity Industrial
Lubrication and Tribology Vol. 55, p-65-75.
Chapter 4
Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials
for Automotive Applications
Amaya Igartua, Xana Fdez-Pérez, Iñaki Illarramendi,
Rolf Luther, Jürgen Rausch and Mathias Woydt
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Replacing hydrocarbon-based oils with biodegradable products is one of the ways to reduce
adverse effects on the ecosystem caused by the use of lubricants. The application of low or
no sulphur, ash and phosphorous (lowSAP) ester- or polyglycol based oils are intended for
passenger car engine lubricants as substitutes for hydrocarbon-based oils. The study is
focused on passenger car motor oils (PCMO) with reduced metal-organic additives. This is
necessary in order to reduce the ash build-up in the after treatment system and therefore
improve its efficiency and lifetime. High fuel efficiency and long drain intervals are
requested, as well.
In a modern diesel or Gasoline engine, the engine oils has to fulfill quite a number of
different functions, such as lubricating and cooling the system, wear protection, soot and
particle handling with less deposit tendency and so on.
2. Engine oils – Developed of new passenger car motor bio oils
2.1. Relevant aspects of influence
Generally speaking, engine oils consist of three major parts. The biggest part (per volume) is
taken by the base fluid. It is responsible for the wear free hydrodynamic regime in
lubrication and provides the basic lubricity. Besides, it serves as solvent for the additives.
The additives can be subdivided into the group of surface active and lubricant active
The first group consists of EP/AW-additives to reduce wear at heavily loaded tribo- contacts
and so called friction modifiers (FM) that are used to reduce the coefficient of friction. These

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 120
additives are polar and tend to adhere to the metallic surface of the engine components.
Conventionally, they contain sulphur and phosphorous usually as metal-organic
compounds. The other additive group is unpolar or less polar and consists of antioxidants
(AO) to prolong the oil service life, dispersancy and detergency (D&D) to keep the engine
clean and soot in dispersion and of corrosion inhibitors (Ci). Metal-organic compounds are
widely used in that field, the most prominent being zinc-dialkyl-dithiophosphate (ZnDTP).
These three components are not independent of each other; they all contribute to overall
lubricant performance. The complex interplay of the components is shown schematically in
figure 1 before.

*The width of the arrows indicate the relative importance of the individual components
Figure 1. Importance of engine oil component.
2.2. Emissions – Laboratory procedure
One focus was the development of lubricants which are compatible with latest exhaust gas
after-treatment systems. This is the reason for the desired reduction in phosphorous,
sulphur and metal-organic content (expressed as sulphated ash). These elements are
suspected to contribute towards catalyst poisoning and deposit formation in particle traps.
However, one has to keep in mind that there are two different ways how engine oil
constituents can influence the performance of after-treatment systems.
Figure 3 shows the result from the field test with a car equipped with a particle trap ('filtre à
particule', FAP) and conventional engine oil. After the test the FAP was dismantled and the
found deposits were analysed. Most residues were fuel related (FbA=fuel based ash), but the
engine oil showed an influence, too. Interesting is the comparison between metal ions found
as deposits and those present in the ACEA A3/B3 engine oil. Apparently, zinc is four times
more critical towards after treatment deposits than calcium. Therefore, it developed engine
oils without any Zinc; even so this is the most common metal organic compound in engine
oils today.

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 121

Figure 2. Engine oil composition and influence on after-treatment system.

Figure 3. Analysis of residues found in particle filter (result of a field test). Zinc seems to give over-
proportional residues in the after-treatment system.
Some engine oil is inevitably entering the fuel path, e.g. via the fuel pumps. The fuel/engine
oil mixture is then burned in the combustion chamber and all chemical elements of the
engine oil are likely to reach the after treatment system. Thus, phosphorous, sulphur and
sulphated ash are appropriate parameters to characterise the oil compatibility with the
exhaust gas systems.
The second way of contact between engine oil and after-treatment system arises from
evaporation. Hot lubricated surfaces in the engine, e.g. cylinder walls, give rise to the
evaporation of volatile substances. These are not necessarily present in the fresh lubricant
but may be created by thermal cracking of higher molecular weight compounds at these
elevated temperatures.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 122
From the past, it is well known that the type of base oil has a significant influence on raw
emissions. An example is the correlation between Noack evaporation loss and particle
emissions (see figure 4). This correlation, together with concerns about the oil consumption
led to the limitation of the Noack evaporation loss to 15% respectively 13% according to the
ACEA regulation.

Figure 4. Correlation between Noack Evaporation loss and particle emission in a direct injection HD
Diesel engine
Besides the base oil volatility, the volatility of some additives becomes interest. The content
of chemical elements in the oil and their abundance in the exhaust gas need not to be
proportional. For example, it is well-known that different phosphorous compounds with
identical phosphorous content will show great differences in thermal stability and volatility.
In order to evaluate the element specific evaporation of fully formulated engine oils, we
established a new test procedure. The new test procedure uses the Noack evaporation test
equipment (DIN 51581, ASTM D5800) and the test condition 1h @ 250°C. However, not only
the total mass loss but also the evaporation loss of additive elements is determined. A
comparison of the two reference engine oils and the new candidate fluids in this test is
shown in figure 5. To display hydrocarbon, sulphur and phosphorous emissions in one
diagram, the test results have been normalised to a typical reference oil (=100% emissions).
Obviously, both developed engine oils have reduced evaporation losses compared to
today's conventional oils. The hydrocarbon loss, dominated by the base oil, was cut to less
than half of the original value. This should reduce the particle emission. On the additive
side, sulphur and phosphorous volatility have been significantly reduced.

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 123
Under the described conditions, volatile metal-organic compounds in significant quantities
have not been found in any of the tested oils.

Figure 5. Element specific Noack evaporation losses (relative two reference engine oils).
2.3. Engine cleanliness & low ash
The main challenge in formulating engine oils with low ash and sulphur is the question of
engine cleanliness. Metal soaps and similar components (commonly called detergents) are
responsible for preventing deposits in the engine, predominantly at the piston rings and
groves. Besides, their alkalinity is necessary to neutralise acidic combustion products.
Today, the most prominent substance used is calcium sulphonate–accounting for
approximately 80% of lubricant ash and sulphur. Current engine oils have typical values
of 0.3% to 0.4% Calcium, corresponding to sulphated ash contents of about 1.3% to 1.5%.
Thus, a reduction to 0.5% as expected by passenger car manufactures cannot be achieved
by just reducing the concentration of well known additives, but needs a new additive
To evaluate the capabilities of new D&D-additives, it made intense use of the so-called
Wolf-test. This test is a modification of the well known panel-coker idea. The engine oil to be
tested is dropping on a hot metal plate. This steel panel is mounted at a fixed angle to allow
the oil to flow down the panel slowly. At the lower end it is captured in a glass vessel to be
recirculated to the panel again. After a fixed period of time the test is stopped, the panels are
washed and the deposit formation is observed. Weighting and a visual rating of the panels
by an expert allows judging the deposit formation tendency.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 124

Figure 6. Wolf test apparatus and sample panels showing the rating scheme.
The results obtained in the WOLF test give a good indication for engine cleanliness in real
engines. Figure 7 shows the correlation between the Wolf test and the VW TDI test
according to CEC L-78-T-99 as established with new oils in the past. The CEC L-78 test
belongs to the ACEA sequence of engine tests and is used to rate piston cleanliness. Results
greater or equal to 65 points are supposed to be good in this engine test. Thus deposits in
our Wolf screening test should be below approximately 8 to 10 mg. However, only a test in a
real fired engine can give reliable information about the actual performance.

Figure 7. Correlation between screening test and actual engine test with VW TDI according to CEC

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 125
As explained earlier, the major challenge in formulation the new oils is the reduction in
crucial additive elements. Sulphur and phosphorous are the elements found in most anti-
wear agents, while the metal-organic compounds constitute important anti-oxidants and
engine cleanliness additives. All three additive groups can have negative influence on the
after-treatment system. Therefore so called lowSAP oils are required. The understanding of
lowSAP is the reduction of sulphur ash (as a measure for metal-organic compounds) and
phosphorous. The figure 8 demonstrates the comparison between the passenger motor oil
reference lubricant and the new developed oils.

Figure 8. Results of Wolf test showing the dependency of deposit formation from the sulphated ash
content of the engine oil, even with most modern technology
The (sulphur) ash content is reduced to one third, phosphorous and sulphur to less than
50% of today's product. Despite this strong decrease in metal-organic compounds, the
deposit formation tendency – as screened with the panel coker test according to Wolf –
remains as low as the reference oil (figure 9.b). This target was reached by using a new ash
less EP/AW additive technology. However, the influence of the concentration of metal-
organic compounds remains visible even with newest technologies.
2.4. PCMO - EP/AW properties
The second concern while using lowSAP oils is wear protection. To check this performance,
screening tests have been performed. Next figure 10 displays the results obtained with the
SRV test rig. On the left hand side, wear scars according to DIN 51834-2 are displayed. This
is a 2 hour test at constant load. Here, both new engine oils show slightly smaller wear scars.
On the right hand side, results according to ASTM 5706 are displayed. In this SRV test, the
load is increased in fixed intervals until seizure occurs. Higher load corresponds to a better
protection at highest load spikes. The reference oil and both new candidate oils easily
supersede the values typically found in engines.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 126

Figure 9. a) Comparison of additive elements of reference oil and epc-48 and 49
b) Wolf comparison between reference oil and epc-48

Figure 10. SRV test results for the reference oil and the new epc-48 and epc 49

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 127
2.5. Fuel efficiency test
The fuel efficiency potential of epc 50 was tested in an M111-FE engine test bench which is
part of different ACEA specification. The matter of this test is to evaluate the fuel
consumption under defined conditions. The fuel saving compared to the 15W40 CEC
reference oil RL 191 is calculated in %. The formidable result of 3,9% fuel benefit
demonstrate the potential of epc 50.
2.6. Passenger car motor oil candidates
At least two candidate oils named epc-48 and epc-49 passes the laboratory optimization
process. A comparison of the passenger car specifications and the candidate oil data is given
in next table 1.
Epc 48 and epc 49 are based on the same base fluid composition but differ in additivation.
Due to their high viscosity index, the desired high temperature, high shear viscosity
(HTHSV) at 150°C of 2.9 mPas is reached at significantly lower viscosities at 100°C, 40°C and
at -25°C. This offers the potential for improved fuel efficiency.
To meet the passenger car oil specifications, the additives and also their treat rates have to
be balanced well.
PCMO-Specifications epc-48 epc-49
SAE grade 0W-30 or 5W-30 0W-20

Viscosity kin.V. 40°C < 55mm²/s 44mm²/s
kin.V. 100°C > 9.3mm²/s 8.8mm²/s
CCS -25°C < 2900mPas 1660mPas
HTHS 150º C 2,9 - 3,1mPas 2.9mPas
Shear stability (Bosch) stay in grade Excellent
Pour point < -35°C -45°C
P < 800ppm 560ppm 560ppm
S < 2000ppm 1800ppm 1800ppm
Zn < 500ppm free Free
sulphated ash < 0,5% 0,5% 0,5%

Noack evaporation loss < 13% 5,2 %
ICOT oxidation stability 140 h pass O.K.
Table 1. Candidate engine oils for the PCMO specification
Table 2 illustrates the developing and optimising process for passenger car motor oils
regarding to oxidation stability and deposit formation tendency.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 128
epc-0 epc-1 epc-2 epc-3 epc-4 epc-8
ICOT fail pass fail pass pass pass
Wolf Test pass pass pass pass n.d n.d
epc-9 epc-10 epc-11 epc-12 epc-13 epc-14
ICOT fail n.d fail n.d n.d n.d
Wolf Test n.d n.d n.d pass pass pass
epc-15 epc-17 epc-18 epc-19 epc-20 epc-21
ICOT n.d fail n.d n.d fail n.d
Wolf Test pass n.d n.d n.d pass pass
epc-22 epc-23 epc-24 epc-25 epc-26 epc-27
ICOT n.d fail n.d pass pass fail
Wolf Test pass n.d n.d n.d n.d pass
epc-28 epc-29-36 epc-37 epc-38 epc-39 epc-40
ICOT Pass n.d pass fail pass pass
Wolf Test n.d n.d pass pass pass pass
epc-41-47 epc-48 epc-49 epc-50 epc-51 epc-52
ICOT n.d pass pass pass n.d fail
Wolf Test n.d pass pass pass n.d n.d
epc-53 epc-54 epc-55 epc-56 epc-57 epc-58-61
ICOT fail n.d fail fail fail n.d
Wolf Test pass n.d pass pass pass n.d
Table 2. Developing PCMO candidates – Optimization in oxidation stability and deposit formation
One important aspect of the engine oil specification is to meet all viscosity properties
according to SAE J300. During the study a change in the in SAE J300 requirements occurred.
The changes relates to the low temperature cranking viscosity (CCS viscosity) and low
temperature pumping viscosity (MRV). The defined measuring temperature switched to a
lower value whereas the limit value was adjusted to the lower temperature.
Due to this epc 48 and epc 49 was developed in accordance to the old SAE J300 viscosity
specification. Nevertheless epc 48 and 49 fulfil also the new SAE J300 low temperature
To follow a line in a consequent way, these oils have to be biodegradable and non-toxic to
the aqueous environment according to the directive EC/1999/45, coherent with other
international standards.
Table 3 and figure 11 show results obtained with new biolubricants developed. The
reference substance is an internal reference for OECD 301F biodegradation test. The
passenger car motor oil (PCMO) reference was not readily biodegradable. The new PCMO
developed pass the limit of biodegradation (60% in 28 days).

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 129
Time % Degradation
Day Ref. Sust. EPC48 (Test a) EPC48 (Test b) EPC 49 (Test a) EPC 49 (Test b)
0 0 0 0 0 0
7 90.96 45.11 37.46 40.76 41.72
14 90.38 70.34 55.05 57.65 61.63
21 89.50 81.42 66.13 66.10 74.06
28 days 89.50 87.54 78.36 76.04 84.00
Table 3. Results of biodegradability tests of EPC-48 and EPC-49 samples. Fully formulated motor oils.

Figure 11. Results of biodegradability of EPC-48 and EPC-49 samples. Fully formulated motor oils.
Aquatic toxicity
The following basic level test are proposed and included in the EU hazard assessment of
substances: Daphnia acute immobilization test (OECD 202; Table 4).
Lubricant *EC50 (mg/l) Classification
EPC-48 EL50>100 “Not harmful” to aquatic organisms
EPC-49 EL50>100 “Not harmful” to aquatic organisms
*EC50: Effective Concentration. The EC50 value means the mean effective concentration of a substance that produces a
particular, previously defined behaviour in 50% of the organisms of a test series.
Table 4. OECD 202, Daphnia Magna Toxicity Test Results. Fully formulated motor oils.
0 7 14 21 28

OECD, 301F Ready Biodegradability
Ref. Sust. EPC48 (Test a) EPC48 (Test b)
EPC 49 (Test a) EPC 49 (Test b)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 130
3. Definition of Tested Prototypes - Triboreactive coating for the tribo-
system piston ring and cylinder liner outside of engines
3.1. Plasma powder characterization
Three types of triboreactive powders were used for the production of ring prototypes.
Piston rings were produced with the reference coating, CIE-TARABUSI-PL72, and with the
new coatings E1, E2 and E3 with successful characteristics in terms of hardness, porosity,
adherence and machine ability. In all cases an intermediate layer is applied to obtain good
adherence with the substrate.
Production of plasma powder with Magnéli phases and deposition of plasma sprayed
coatings containing Magnéli phases or triboactive suboxides.
Plasma powder and coating were characterized with:
 Metallography, optical microscopy and image analysis
 Profilometry
 Mastersizer for particle size distribution
 X-ray diffraction
 Raman spectroscopy

Figure 12. SEM morphology of sintered and agglomerated TinO2n-1 powder and (Ti,Mo)(C,N)+Ni+Mo
plasma powder

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 131

Figure 13. Cross section of (Ti,Mo)(C,N)+Ni+Mo plasma powder before thermal spraying with element
distribution and EDX spectrum

Figure 14. Cross section of Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 plasma powder before thermal spraying with element
distribution and EDX spectrum

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 132

Figure 15. Particle size distribution of three plasma powders (TinO2n-1,Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 and
(Ti,Mo)(C,N)+Ni) without US-treatment.

Figure 16. XDR spectra of Ti(C,N)Mo2C+Ni and Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 plasma powders

Figure 17. Raman spectra of TinO2n-1 and Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 plasma powders and plasma coatings

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 133
Structure of
Composition data
sheet (weight %)
(n = 4…6)
and sintered
20-63 µm 25,01
(n = 4 …6)

+ Ni + Mo
and sintered
15-45 µm 22,33
Ni (not
with LRS,
of NiTiO3
Mo2N and
Mo2C (very low
Ti 41,5-42 soll, O
0,20; N 3,43; C
10,09; Ni 20 soll;
Mo 21,5-22 soll
(not determined)
6  n  9,
solution of
21-23 mol%
Cr2O3 in
HC Starck
and sintered
15-63 µm 21,84
TiO44 - and
CrO44 -
complexes –
against laser
Cr2TiO5 or
Ti 38,2; Cr 21,8; O
about 40;
N < 0,1; C < 0,01;
Ti/Cr  1,75
* determined with thermogravimetry
Table 5. Characterisation of thermal spray powders
1: TiC, (TiMo)(CN) and TiCN of cubic structure exhibit only broadened, second order
Raman peaks; the detected Raman peaks can be attributed to these phases, but attribution is
not unambiguous.
 TinO2n-1 powder (n = 4 – 6) is not stable against thermal stress.
 Atmospheric plasma spraying as well as laser radiation cause oxidation with increasing
formation of rutile. With APS process Magnéli phases cannot be fully transferred from
the TinO2n-1 spray powder to the APS coatings.
 Magnéli phases are stabilized against thermal stresses, laser radiation and oxidation, if
chromium oxide was added to TinO2n-1.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 134
 Both, Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 powder and thermal sprayed coating contain high amount of
stable H-Magnéli phases. Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 can be sprayed with APS to produce
triboactive coatings.
 Vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) in reducing gas atmospheres using hydrogen addition
to plasma gas allows to produce coatings with Magnéli phases. With VPS process
Magnéli phases of TinO2n-1 (n = 4 – 6; IKTS) powder can be transferred to the coatings.
Additionally, other Magnéli phases were detected with XRD.
 The substoichiometry and electric conductivity of TiO2-x can be effected by the amount
of hydrogen in plasma gas. Substoichiometry and electric conductivity increase with the
amount of hydrogen in plasma gas as reducing medium.
 Magnéli phases were found with LRS and XRD.
 Owing to the stability of the Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 powder, thermal sprayed coatings with
stable Magnéli phases can be produced with APS process - using Ar/He process gas
mixture with Ar = 35 SLPM and H2 = 8 SLPM.
 Thermal sprayed (Ti,Mo)(C,N)+Ni+Mo coatings have been produced with HVOF and
plasma spraying process.
 Thermal sprayed coatings (Ti- and TiCr-suboxides with crystallographic planar defect
structure (Magnéli phases)) on flat disks have been produced for prescreening tribotests
and evaluation of interactions of different lubricant / coating combinations.
3.2. Piston ring prototypes
Part Name
Material Coating
Nominal Ø Height
Cylinder Liner 96 - Perlitic cast iron AT182 -
Top piston Ring 96 2 Nodular graphite cast iron AT126
Table 6. System/Component Definition

(Ti, Mo)(C,N)+23NiMo
Argon pressure (psi) 50 50 50 50
Hydrogen pressure (psi) 25 25 25 25
Electric intensity (A) 575 575 575 575
Distance to part (mm) 110 110 110 110
Carrying gas pressure (rpm) 20 20 20 20
Part rotating speed (rpm) 300 300 300 300
Gun feed (mm/s) 10 10 10 10
Powder flow (g/m) 20 20 20 11,5
Table 7. Process parameters of atmospheric spraying of triboactive coatings on piston rings.

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 135
The characteristics of the coatings, as porosity, hardness adherence and light tightness, are
collected in table below.
Feature PL72 PL E3 PL E2 (Batch 2) PL E1
Reference TinO2n-1 (Ti, Mo) (C,N)+23NiMo Tin-2Cr2O2n-2
Casting Rough machining APSpraying OS grinding Sides grinding Face honing
Adherence to
By means of intermediate layer
Incidents by
The coating
wears off very
easily by
honing. The
coating breaks
by gap milling
Highly porous layer.
Barrel shape hard to
recognize due to high
roughness. Easy to
Normal behaviour
Porosity of
5% 2% 10% 5%
450-480 631-670 640-660 522-554
Rpk (µm)
0.2 0.15-0.32 0.37-1.09 0.19-0.25
Thickness (µm) ~250 > 50 ~200 ~250
Adherence Good Good Fair Good
Light tightness Good
Table 8. Summary of properties of atmospheric plasma sprayed triboactive coatings on piston rings.
Reference Components:
These components were designed and manufactured by CIE-TARABUSI with own
knowledge and technology.
Piston: Design for Turbo Diesel application with oil cooling gallery and steel struts for
expansion control, in aluminum alloy AT12 with 12% silicon content and iron insert for the top
groove improved wear resistance. The piston head is coated by hard anodizing to avoid
thermal cracks. The piston skirt has a graphite coating to improve lubrication during running-
in. Basic dimensions: Diameter 96 mm, Total height 87.2 mm, Compression height 50.45 mm.
1st ring: Plasma sprayed PL-72 rings in spheroidal cast iron material AT126, heat treated
martensitic, ISO 6621/3MC 53 type, of diameter 96 mm and height of 2 mm. Pl-72 ring is
high wear and scuffing resistant coating made up by Molybdenum, Molybdenum carbide
and Nickel-Chromium compounds widely used in powered Diesel applications, where
Chromium coatings cannot be used due to the elevated temperature of the engine.
2nd ring: Chromium plated taper ring with conical periphery and positive torsion internal
step, manufactured in STD material AT110, non heat treated gray cast iron, ISO 6621/3 MC
11 type, of diameter 96 mm and 2 mm height

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 136
3rd ring: Chromium plated helicoidal spring loaded oil control ring with symmetric bevels,
produced in STD material AT110 non heat treated gray cast iron, ISO 6621/3 MC 11 type.
The helicoidal spring is made of oil hardened spring steel, of 96 mm of diameter and 3 mm
of height.
Pin: DIN 17Cr3 carburized, hardened and tempered steel pin, with 30 mm of outer diameter,
15 mm of inner diameter and 80 mm length.
E1: Top ring coated with titanium chromium oxide
Top ring: As the reference ring but coated by atmospheric plasma with E1 powder
developed. The composition of the powder is given below:
E1: Tin-2Cr2O2n-1, 6 ≤ n ≤ 9, 21-23 mol % Cr2O3, Magnéli phases sintered and
agglomerated, 15-63µm:

Figure 18. Prototype E1: Tin-2Cr2O2n-1,
E2: Top ring coated with titanium-molybdenum carbide-nitrides
Top ring: As the reference ring but coated by atmospheric plasma with E2 powder
developed. The composition of the powder is given below:
E2: 77 (Ti,Mo) (C,N) – 20 Ni – 3 Mo, Ti/Mo ratio ≈ 2:1, sintered and agglomerated:

Figure 19. Prototype E2: 77 (Ti,Mo) (C,N)–20Ni–3 Mo

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 137
E3: Top ring coated with titanium oxide
Top ring: As the reference ring but coated by atmospheric plasma with E1 powder
developed. The composition of the powder is given below:
E3: TinO2n-1 (Ti4O7, Ti5O9, Ti6O11) sintered and agglomerated, 20-63µm:

Figure 20. Prototype E3: TinO2n-1
4. Friction and wear simulation tests. Combining bio oils with
triboreactive coatings
4.1. Piston ring cylinder liner simulation
To study these new oils have been tested different piston rings coated with triboreactive
powders deposited by Plasma spray against cast iron cylinder liner, using the PCMO oil as
reference. In the next figure 21, the configuration to carry out the simulation tests developed
by TEKNIKER is shown.

Figure 21. Cylinder liner–Piston ring configuration test.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 138
The test conditions were:
Load and time:
- 41 min, load: 50/2000N in scuffing tests. The load is increased in fixed intervals until
seizure occurs. Higher load corresponds to a better protection at highest load spikes.
- 90minutes and 300N in Wear Test,
The rest of the conditions are similar in both tests: frequency: 50 Hz, stroke: 3mm,
temperature: 200ºC.
Piston rings Oil
Extreme Pressure Conditions
Time at which
failure occurs
The highest friction
load at which no
failure occurs (N)
Type of failure*
Chrome plated
28 1300 Stroke<0,3 mm
E3:TinO2n-1 36 1800 Stroke<0,3 mm
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 29 1400 Stroke<0,3 mm
Chrome plated
30 1400 Stroke<0,3 mm
E3:TinO2n-1 32 1600 Stroke<0,3 mm
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 41 2000 No failure
Chrome plated
32 1500 Stroke<0,3 mm
31 1500 Stroke<0,3 mm
36 1800 Stroke<0,3 mm
38 1900 Stroke<0,3 mm
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 41 2000 No failure
*The failure is considered when the first micro-welding appears.
Table 9. Cylinder liner-Piston ring Test Results.- Scuffing Results
Piston rings Oil
Wear Conditions
Friction coefficient Cylinder liner mass lost (mg)
Chrome plated
0.11 0.4
E3:TinO2n-1 0.12 0.2
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 0.11 0.4
Chrome plated
0.13 0.3
E3:TinO2n-1 0.14 0.0
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 0.13 0.3
Chrome plated
0.13 0.6
E3:TinO2n-1 0.14 0.2
E1:Tin-2Cr2O2n-1 0.14 1.5
*The roughness of E2 77(Ti,Mo) (C,N)-20Ni-3Mo are very high, so these piston rings will not be tested in laboratory simulation.
Table 10. Cylinder liner-Piston ring Test Results.- Friction and Wear Results
Also, the new oils developed (EPC-48 and EPC-49) have similar or better behaviour than the
PCMO reference oils. It seems that the combination triboreactive coating/polar lubricant
increases the load carrying capacity and the extreme pressure properties.

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 139
4.2. Specific wear energy
Specific wear energy is a criterion, which takes both into account: it is the ratio of the friction
work spent in the interface divided by the mass loss due to the wear.
( )
m N fr
v F t dt
m m

 

E =
The specific wear energy Ew is the amount of energy needed to wear a certain mass of matter.
Consequently, the higher the value of the Ew is, the more difficult it is to wear the material.
The Figures 22 and 23 show the cylinder liner wear specific energy.

Figure 22. Cylinder liner wear specific energy. Friction and Wear Simulation Tests.

Figure 23. Frictional energy/mass lost. Friction and Wear Simulation Tests.
209,4 211,2
E1: Tin-
E1: Tin-
E1: Tin-
Wear Specific Energy Ew (MJ/g)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 140
5. Engine tests. Pass/No pass results for biodegradable fluids in
combination with triboreactive materials. Evaluation of friction, wear,
life, oil consume
The piston ring component engine tests have been performed by CIE TARABUSI in a 2.7 L
turbo-charged 4-stroke diesel engine, using as reference the Mo-based plasma coating PL72
(reference used by CIE-Tarabusi).

Figure 24. Testing of piston rings in a turbo diesel engine arrangement
The test conditions and parameters were fixed for three different type of tests: (a) Scuff test
to determine the scuffing resistance of the coating at high temperature and pressure with
minimum component clearance, (b) Hot test, long run at high power and high speed to set
the reference values for wear and (c) Cycle test between low and high thermal conditions to
determine the thermal fatigue and adherence resistance of the developed coatings. The
components were measured before and after the test.
5.1. Tests results
The pistons and rings are inspected visually after the scuff, life tests and cyclic tests. The
appearance observations of the tested components are presented comparatively to the
reference components. We summarized the aspect of the prototypes as follows.
Reference components
The piston has good appearance for the time of running and type of tests run. The wear
pattern of the piston skirt is smooth and wide. The rings have normal periphery and side
wear. The pin also has a typical appearance with normal signs of friction effects.

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 141

Thrust Side Anti-thrust Side
Figure 25. Testing of Piston Rings with reference coating and reference oil
E1, E2 and E3 coated top Rings
E2 and E3 coatings have good appearance as it is the case for the reference rings. Coating E1,
on the contrary, breaks off during the tests. The picture below shows the periphery of the
coated rings.

E3: TinO2n-1 E2: (Ti, Mo)(C,N)+Ni+Mo E1: Tin-2Cr2O2n-1
Figure 26. Engine Tests.- Testing of piston rings with triboreactive coatings, aspect of parts after test
with standard oil
The engine test results are as follows:
1) Reference engine test: The studied tribological pair is the cylinder liner of 96mm internal
diameter and made of uncoated pearlitic cast iron AT182 and top piston rings of 96mm
outside diameter, height 2mm and made of nodular graphite cast iron AT126 coated with
PL72 standard atmospheric plasma layer. The results are the reference for wear, scuff
resistance and adherence. Engine oil consumption and blow-by values are also considered
for comparison.
These tests were performed with the reference materials and using the oil SAE 5W30. The
scuffing test (2h30m) was done with 100% load and speed engine conditions. Water and
oil temperatures were measured. Neither piston nor piston rings show scuff marks after

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 142
testing. Concerning hot test (100h), the engine conditions were 105% load, 100% speed,
water temperature 110ºC and oil temperature 130ºC. Results were an oil consumption of
48,3 g/h and blow by 55,7 l/min. The cold/warm test consists of (100h) with cycle time of
14 min.
2) Engine testing of piston rings with new coating E2 (1st batch) and reference oil SAE
5W30. After 14 hour of hot test running the engine is stopped due to high blow-by. In the
engine disassembly it is observed that the E2 coated rings show scuffing and the liners are
severely deteriorated.
3) Engine testing of piston rings with new coating E3 and reference oil SAE 5W30. After an
initial test failure due to reasons not caused by the new rings, the tested ring set goes
successfully under the hot test running (100 h) and the cold/warm cycles (100 h). The E3
coated rings show no sign of scuffing and a periphery wear 30% more than the reference
coating. On the contrary the induced liner wear is lower more than 50%.
4) Engine testing of piston rings with new coating E1 and reference oil SAE 5W30 was
successfully concluded after hot test running (100h) and cold/warm cycles (100h). The
ring periphery wear of E1 is equal to the reference coating and the induced wear in the
cylinder is importantly reduced in around 70%. Unfortunately it is observed after the
engine disassembly that the top ring of piston no. 4 shows peripheral erosion and
5) Engine testing of piston rings with new coating E2 (2nd batch) and reference oil SAE
5W30 was successfully concluded after hot test running (100h) and cold/warm cycles (100h).
The ring periphery wear of E2 is 80% higher than the reference coating and the induced
wear in the cylinder is reduced in around 40%.
6) Reference engine test with EPC-49 oil: The studied tribological pair is the cylinder liner of
96mm internal diameter and made of uncoated pearlitic cast iron AT182 and top piston
rings of 96mm outside diameter, height 2mm and made of nodular graphite cast iron AT126
coated with PL72 standard atmospheric plasma layer. The results are the reference for wear,
scuff resistance and adherence with special triboreactive epc-49 oil.
These tests were performed with the reference materials and using the oil EPC-49. The
scuffing test (2h30m) was done with 100% load and speed engine conditions. Neither piston
nor piston rings show scuff marks after testing. Concerning hot test (100h), the engine
conditions were 105% load, 100% speed, water temperature 110ºC and oil temperature
7) Engine testing of piston rings with new coating E3 and EPC-49 oil. The tested ring set
goes successfully under scuff test (2.5 h), the hot test running (100 h) and the cold/warm
cycles (100 h). The E3 coated rings show no sign of scuffing and a periphery wear and
cylinder bore induced wear performance similar to the result obtained with the reference

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 143
Table 11. Main Test Results

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 144
In figure 27 the difference between measurements are presented. These values are a
combination of the wear and deformation that the components have suffered during the

Figure 27. Testing of piston rings in a turbo diesel engine testing arrangement.
6. Conclusions
The main conclusions of the tests are summarized as follows:
- Good wear and anti-scuffing properties of Titanium Oxide followed by the (Ti,
Mo)(C,N)+23NiMo coatings.
- Wear resistance of TinO2n_1 coating is similar to standard Mo-based coating for both
standard and triboreactive oil.
The best extreme pressure properties (in tribological tests) were found for the Titanium
Chromium Oxide coating but it was detached from the iron substrate during the engine tests.
Wear results with triboreactive oil EPC-49 are similar to the standard oil, and oil
consumption results were reduced by 45%.
Author details
Amaya Igartua and Xana Fdez-Pérez
Ik4 Tekniker, Spain

Biolubricants and Triboreactive Materials for Automotive Applications 145
Iñaki Illarramendi
CIE- Tarabusi, Spain
Rolf Luther and Jürgen Rausch
FUCHS, Germany
Mathias Woydt
Bam, Germany
The authors express their gratitude to the European Union for the financial support given to
this work through the GROWTH Project no. GRD2-2001-50119, Contract no. G3RD-CT-2002-
00796-EREBIO and the Spanish Minister of Science and Technology reference MAT2002-
11137-E. The authors also would like to thank all the remaining partners from EREBIO
their approval for this publication.
Also the authors give their gratitude to the European Union for the financial support
through the seventh framework, Theme 7, Sustainable Surface Transport, POWERtrain for
Future Light-duty vehicles, Grant agreement no.: 234032
7. References
Igartua, A.; Barriga, J., Aranzabe, A.; (2005) Biodegradable Lubricants. Virtual Tribology
Institute Edition, ISBN 83-70204-418-X..
Schmidt, R.; Klingenberg, G., Woydt, M., (2006) Tribological, thermophysical and
viscosinetric properties of lubricants interacting with triboactive materials. BAM Research
Report 277.
Fitamen, E.; Tiquet, L., Woydt, M., (2006) In: ASTM D02 Symposium on Automotive
Lubricants—Testing and Additive Development; 3–5 December 2006.
Desplanches, G.; Criqui, B., Linneman, T., Woydt, M., (2006) Plenary paper al 15th
International Colloquium Tribology, TAE Esslingen; 17–19 January 2006.
Rakopoulos, CD.; Antonopoulos, KA., Rakopoulos, DC., (2006) Energy conversion and
Management 2006;47(11–12):1550–73.
Ramadhas, AS. ; Muraleedharan, C., Jayaraj, S., (2003) Renewable Energy 2003; 30(12): 1789–
Miura, M.; (2004) Journal of Japanese Society of Tribologists 2004; 49(10):793–8.
Ulosoy, Y., Tekin, Y., Centinkaya, M., (2004) Energy Sources 2004; 26(10):927–32.
Megahed, OA.; Abadı´a RI, Nabil, D. (2004) Energy Sources 2004; 26(2):119–26.
Tanabe, H.; (2003) Journal of Japanese Society of Tribologists 2003; 48(6):442–6.
Hashimoto, T., (2003) Journal of Japanese Society of Tribologists 2003; 48(4):278–82.
Chen, CI.; (2003) Tribology Letters 2003; 14(2):83–90.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 146
Gmble, RJ.; Priest M., Taylor CM., (2003) Tribology letters 2003; 14(2):147–56.
Section 2


Chapter 5
Batteries Charging Systems for Electric
and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Vítor Monteiro, Henrique Gonçalves, João C. Ferreira and João L. Afonso
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Nowadays, energy efficiency is a top priority, boosted by a major concern with climatic
changes and by the soaring oil prices in countries that have a large dependency on imported
fossil fuels. A great part of the oil consumption is currently allocated to the transportation
sector and a large portion of that is used by road vehicles. According to the international
energy outlook report, the transportation sector is going to increase its share in world's total
oil consumption by up to 55% by 2030 [1]. Aiming an improvement of energy efficiency, a
revolution in the transportation sector is being done. The bet is in the electric mobility,
mostly supported by the technological developments in different areas, as power
electronics, mechanics, and information systems.
Different types of Electric Vehicles (EVs) are being developed nowadays as alternative to the
Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) vehicles [2][3], namely, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV),
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), in its different configurations [3], and Fuel-Cell
Electric Vehicles (FCEV). This chapter presents batteries charging systems for Electric and
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. To simplify the reading and to contribute to a simple
understanding, from now on, in this chapter, it will be used the terminology of Electric
Vehicle (EV) to define these two types of vehicles.
EVs are increasingly popular, as demonstrated by the numerous vehicles recently made
available in the market by almost all automakers. The main energy storage systems of these
vehicles are the electrochemical batteries, the ultracapacitors and the full-cells. However,
taking into account nowadays limits of energy storage of those technologies, the vehicles
have limited range autonomy. Different energy storage systems configurations can be
implemented [3][4][5], however, the electrochemical batteries still are the most used
technology to store energy. Nevertheless, they are usually used in conjunction with

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 150
ultracapacitors to store energy during transient moments, as during the vehicle regenerative
braking. Actually, the ultracapacitors are used in this way to receive a significant amount of
energy in a short time, and to provide this energy to the next acceleration, or to help
charging the batteries.
The electrical power grids were not designed for this new type of load, which corresponds
to the batteries charging systems of EVs, therefore the impact caused by the proliferation of
EVs cannot be neglected [6]. The challenge is to rebuild the electrical power grids, as early as
possible, as “smarter” as possible, and the most environmentally friendly as possible. To
achieve these targets arise the Smart Grids, which are not characterized as a single
technology or device, but rather as a vision of a distributed electrical system, supported by
reference technologies, as integrated communications, Power Electronics devices, Energy
Storage Systems (ESS), and Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMI). The Smart Grids
intend to reduce the energy costs, and simultaneously to achieve a sustainable balance
between production and consumption, increasing the reliability of the power grids and the
power quality of the electrical energy delivered to the loads.
As aforementioned, EVs represent a new type of load that introduces new problems, but
that also brings new possibilities of actuation. The problems arise from the possibility of
occurring simultaneous charging of a large number of vehicles, which can overload the
power grid, and from the effects of non-sinusoidal current consumption of the batteries
charging systems. Among the opportunities, stands the fact that these vehicles have
enormous potential to regulate the consumption profile from the power grid, by smoothing
the natural intermittency of the renewable energy sources, and ensuring the power grid
stability in terms of voltage and frequency, if they allow collaboration with the electrical
power grid to store and deliver energy of the batteries in parked vehicles. One factor which
suggests that such benefits may exist relates to the fact that private vehicles are parked on
average 93-96% of their lifetime, during which time each vehicle represents an idle asset [7].
So, the energy stored in EVs’ batteries may be suitable for providing regulation services,
spinning reserves and peak power demand. This interactivity between the vehicles and the
power grid is expected to be one of the key technologies in the future of the Smart Grids and
batteries charging systems, and is called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). The new paradigms of
Smart Grids and V2G bring a profound change to the present systems. In [8] is presented
one approach to the future of the power grids focusing the impact of PHEVs in Smart Grids,
and in [9] is presented a concrete case of a technology to integrate EVs with Smart Grids.
To solve the aforementioned problems different approaches can be taken into account,
among them can be implemented a coordinated charging of the EVs, or a regulation of the
required power of the vehicles according to the power grid capabilities. Different authors
present studies about how the charging systems affect the distribution power grid, and how
they contribute to the degradation of the power quality. In [10] is presented a comparative
study of the performance of two types of batteries charging systems, and in [11] is studied
the effect of EVs batteries charging systems on a substation transformer that supplies

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 151
commercial, residential, and industrial loads during a peak of consumption in a summer
day. A report published by the California Energy Commission [12] presents a study about
the impact of residential EVs batteries charging systems. It shows that, for the use of the GM
EV1 vehicle, the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of the current presents a variation from
3% (at the beginning of charging, with a unitary power factor) to 28.11% (at the end of the
charging, with a power factor equal to 0.96). So, it is clear that the simultaneous use of a
great number of EVs batteries charging systems connected to the electrical distribution grid
can cause a significant degradation of the electrical power quality. In the particular case of
Portugal, in [13] is analyzed the impact of PHEVs in the electric utility system, where it is
approached a Portuguese consumption profile. These studies have only considered the
Grid-to-Vehicle operation (G2V) since it is expected that this is the first scenario that will be
found. The impacts of the batteries charging rates of EVs on the Smart Grid distribution
systems are approached in [14]. For this goal were compared different charging rates,
during different charging periods along a day. It was also considered the existing system
load profiles, and it was evaluated the overall performance of the electrical distribution
system. The integration of EVs in the power grid is approached in several papers in the
literature (e.g., [15]), as well as the integration of PHEVs in different parts around the world,
like China, [16]. In [17] is analyzed the impact of EVs in an isolated electrical power grid.
The power quality is an important issue in order to ensure the proper functioning of the
power grid system and the loads connected to it. These requirements should be a
characteristic of both parts of the system: the energy supplied by the power grid, as well
as the energy consumed by the equipment connected to the grid [18]. Besides the
harmonics, other power quality problems, as inter-harmonics, noise (electromagnetic
interference), momentary interruptions, sags, swells, flicker, notches, and transients can
also occur [19][20]. But in what regards the integration of the electric mobility in a Smart
Grid, the degradation of the power quality is mainly caused by the non-linear current
consumption of the batteries charging systems. This is reflected in the THD of the
consumed current and also in the voltage THD, due to the line impedance [21]. As a way
to mitigate these problems, the EVs’ batteries charging systems should have sinusoidal
current consumption and unitary power factor. This is true for both home chargers and
public charging stations.
2. Smart Grid: Electric mobility integration
It is predictable that in the near future, in a real full scale Smart Grid scenario, the power
grid should meet the increasing demand of energy in a reliable and efficient way,
maintaining the required stability and interfacing renewable energy resources, as a large
network of microgrids.
Figure 1 shows a draft of a scenario for a micro Smart Grid with: a microgeneration power
station with solar photovoltaic panels and micro wind turbines (which produce energy);
some EVs with G2V and V2G capabilities (which can receive or provide electrical energy);

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 152
and Energy Storage Systems (which, like the EVs, can receive or provide electrical energy).
Beyond the flow of energy between the parts, there is also the sharing of information,
controlled by a Collaborative Broker [22]. In this figure are also shown the blocks of the
Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs) (for the micro solar photovoltaic panels and micro
wind turbines), and the blocks of the AC-DC and DC-AC converters to adjust the levels of
the voltages and the currents between both sides [23].

Figure 1. Scenario of a micro Smart Grid.
Such power grid scenario, with the EVs smart charging systems, will allow the communication
of the vehicles with the local utilities to ensure that the batteries are charged when the
electricity is cheapest and the impact of the charging systems on the grid is smallest. The use of
computerized charging stations which constantly monitor the EV charging process, in order to
optimize the charging rate, will be of extremely important to preserve the batteries lifespan. In
Figure 2 is shown in detail the integration of EVs (in a typical charging park) with
microgeneration renewable energy sources (solar photovoltaic panels and micro wind
turbines), and Energy Storage Systems (ESS), in a Smart Grid context.

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 153

Figure 2. Integration of Electric Vehicles, renewable energy sources (solar photovoltaic panels and
micro wind turbines), and Energy Storage Systems (ESS), in a Smart Grid context.
2.1. Interaction modes with Electric Vehicles
As mentioned before, enormous advantages arise from the interaction of EVs with the
power grid. Focusing the interaction of EVs with the different systems where they can be
connected, several concepts can be defined.
2.1.1. Grid-to-Vehicle
The concept of Grid-to-Vehicle (G2V) is the simplest process of integration of the EVs
batteries charging system with the power grid. It is not required any communication
between both systems and only exists energy flow from the power grid to the EVs.
Nowadays, this is the most common (and almost unique) batteries charging process for EVs,
and it will be the first approach to the massive integration of these vehicles.
2.1.2. Vehicle-to-Grid
As defined by Mid-Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars Consortium (MAGICC) [24], Vehicle-to-
Grid (V2G) technology utilizes the stored energy in the EVs batteries to contribute with
electricity back to the electrical power grid, when the grid operators request it. This way the

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 154
EVs can receive energy during the excess of production and deliver it back to the power grid
during the periods of great demand, balancing the energy production and consumption,
and also stabilizing the intermittency production from renewable energy sources, improving
their integration into the power grid. Thus, V2G is described as a system where EVs can
communicate with the power grid to sell or to buy energy, in order to establish the power
demand [25]. To make it possible the batteries charging system needs assistance of an
intelligent and collaborative system to control both processes, and also to add extra
functionalities, as finding the periods with cheaper prices to charge the batteries, to identify
available charging slots in public areas, and to provide useful information to the drivers.
Each vehicle should have two fundamental elements: a connection for the bidirectional flow
of the electrical energy; and a logical connection for the communication and control in both
sides. The control signal from the power grid operator to the vehicles can be implemented
through a broadcast radio signal, through a cell phone network, through an internet
connection, or through Power Line Communication (PLC) [26].
2.1.3. Vehicle-to-Home
The concept of Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) is similar to the V2G concept; however it can avoid
the grid infrastructure and the electricity tariff problems associated with V2G, because the
bidirectional flux of energy is between the vehicle and the house. Thereby, V2H can be used
to manage and regulate the profile of electricity demand in a house, controlling the use of
the loads and the stored energy available in the vehicle. It also can be used out of the power
grid, in isolated electrical systems, and in conjunction with renewable energy sources,
increasing their effectiveness.
2.1.4. Vehicle-to-Building
A specific version of V2G, denominated Vehicle-to-Building (V2B), is a concept that consists
in using the stored energy in the batteries of EVs as an energy source of back-up to
compensate the energy consumption profile in a commercial scale (e.g., in companies and
shopping center parks).
2.2. Batteries charging process
As previously commented, and as demonstrated in [27], the load profile of the EVs batteries
charging systems has high importance to the power grid management. Depending on the
design of the electrical grid and the type of charging and discharging processes, EVs can be
a problem or a benefit to the power grid. The batteries charging and discharging processes
can be realized in two different ways: controlled and uncontrolled.
In the controlled way, the batteries are charged or discharged in accordance to the capability
and the needs of the power grid, and in accordance with the conveniences of the vehicle´s
owner, which is the main figure in this process. In this scenario of real time control, several
parameters should be taken into account, namely, energy price (to sell or to buy) and
batteries State-of-Charge (SoC) and State-of-Health (SoH - reflects the batteries degradation

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 155
along their lifetime). In [28] is proposed an autonomous distributed V2G control scheme,
and in [29] is presented a coordinated charging scheme for multiple PHEVs in a residential
distribution grid. Some technical solutions for the integration of EVs in the electrical power
grid can be found in [30].
In the uncontrolled way, as the name suggests, there is no control over the charging system.
The only control that exists from the moment in which the vehicle is plugged to the end of
the process, is the decision if the process of charging or discharging can start immediately or
after a fixed time delay (controlled by the vehicle´s owner in accordance with his
convenience). Since there is no control over the charging systems, peaks of power
consumption can occur in the electrical power grid, during some periods in which exist a
large number of EVs simultaneously charging their batteries. These power peaks can bring
overload problems to the power grid. Similar problems can occur when the energy stored in
the batteries is delivered back to the electrical power grid. Despite these problems,
nowadays, the uncontrolled way is the most common charging procedure. As predicted in
[31], in Portugal, the smart charging (in controlled way) will be a necessity in midterm, in
order to prevent a large demand of energy peaks over the power grid.
2.3. Types of access
The batteries charging systems can be of two types: public chargers and residential chargers.
Public chargers are an optimal solution to charge the batteries of the vehicles using energy
from several sources of energy (as wind or sun) and can be deployed at strategic places around
a town or city, like for example, at companies, public buildings and shopping centers parking
lots. On the other hand, residential chargers are designed to deliver low power, in an efficient
way, since in general they are used to make a complete charge of the batteries during long
periods of time (slow charging). The main benefits of these two types of chargers are the
comfort for the user, and the freedom of the user to charge the batteries when he wants,
according with the best prices of energy. The main disadvantage is that, since each charging
process is independent, the limit of overload of the electrical power grid can be easily reached.
2.4. Charger specifications
Currently, the majority of EVs are designed with on-board unidirectional batteries charging
systems. Besides the on-board batteries charging systems, some vehicles allow the charge of
their batteries with off-board chargers. An on-board batteries charging system refers to a
charger implemented inside the vehicle. The user only has access to the input of the
charging system. This type of charger is connected to the AC electrical grid voltage and is
used to slowly charge the batteries – it is denominated as “slow charging”. On the other
hand, an off-board batteries charging system is implemented outside the vehicle. It is given
access to the DC voltage of the batteries and is used to charge the batteries as fast as possible
– it is denominated as “fast charging”.
Regarding the way that the charger can be connected to the vehicle, there are two different
approaches: conductive or inductive. The conductive batteries charging system is made

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 156
through a physical contact between the vehicle and the power grid. In counterpart, with the
inductive batteries charging system there is no physical contact between the vehicle and the
power grid. Independently of the charger type, the interaction between the EVs and the
power grid should comply with regulatory standards, as the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC) norms (IEC 62196 and IEC 61851).
3. Electric vehicles batteries charging systems
As aforementioned some vehicles allow the charge of their batteries with off-board batteries
charging systems, like public charging stations, but almost every vehicle is equipped with
its own on-board batteries charging systems. This charging system is an AC-DC power
circuit that must be controlled in order to respect the vehicles’ batteries nominal
characteristics to preserve their lifespan. Additionally, it should monitor the batteries during
their operation to prevent damages during the charging or discharging processes. The AC-
DC power circuit can be implemented with different topologies according to the
characteristics desired for the system. Figure 3 illustrates graphically the main categories in
which can be divided the different topologies of the batteries charging systems for EVs.

Figure 3. Main categories of AC-DC power converters topologies used in EVs batteries charging systems.
3.1. Power electronics circuits topologies
Typically, the power electronics circuit topology of batteries charging systems is formed by
two power electronics converters: an AC-DC converter followed by a DC-DC converter.
Both power converters can have different topologies and can be arranged together in
different ways, with and without isolation between them. The AC-DC converter is used to
rectify the AC voltage from de power grid to a DC voltage. The DC-DC converter is used to
adapt the rectified voltage to a level of voltage compatible with the batteries’ voltage and

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 157
also to control the batteries charging process. In Figure 4 is shown the main AC-DC power
converters topologies used to rectify the power grid AC voltage, and in Figure 5 is shown
the main DC-DC power converters topologies used to control the batteries charging and
discharging processes.

Figure 4. Main AC-DC power converters topologies used in EVs batteries charging systems:
(a) unidirectional full-bridge non-controlled converter; (b) unidirectional full-bridge non-controlled
converter followed by a boost converter; (c) bidirectional half-bridge full-controlled converter;
(d) bidirectional full-bridge full-controlled converter.
The simplest AC-DC power converter uses diodes as rectifying components, as illustrated in
Figure 4 (a). It is easy to implement, cheap to construct, and less susceptible to damages.
However, the output voltage, and the consumed current are not controlled and
consequently, the waveform of the consumed current is not sinusoidal, and so this type of
converter contributes to the degradation of the electrical grid power quality. On the other
hand, using power switching semiconductors is possible to control the waveform of the
consumed current, as well as the output voltage. When compared with the AC-DC power
converter with diodes, it has the disadvantages of having a more complex power electronics
circuit and control system (which can be digital or analogue, and higher implementation
and maintenance costs. Nevertheless, it has the advantage of the sinusoidal current
consumption that does not degrade the power grid quality. The AC-DC power converter
presented in Figure 4 (b) adds to the diodes rectifier a DC-DC boost converter that will make
the Power Factor Correction (PFC). With this topology, it is possible to control the waveform
and the power factor of the consumed current. Despite being a good alternative to control
the waveform of the consumed current, it has the disadvantage of only operating in
unidirectional mode (G2V). To make possible a bidirectional energy flow it is necessary a
topology like the one presented in Figure 4 (c) and (d). The difference between these two

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 158
converters is the number of power semiconductors and capacitors, and the resulting level of
the output voltage. The level of the output voltage of the converter presented in Figure 4 (c)
is the double of the converter presented in Figure 4 (d).
The most basic topology of DC-DC power converter used in batteries charging systems is
the DC-DC buck converter. This topology, presented in Figure 5 (a), is not isolated and only
allows the unidirectional operation (G2V). Combining the structure of this topology with the
structure of a DC-DC boost converter it is possible to obtain a bidirectional topology, as
shown in Figure 5 (c). During the batteries charging process, the energy flows from the
power grid to the batteries (G2V), and the converter operates as a DC-DC buck converter.
When the energy flows from the batteries to the power grid (V2G), the converter operates as
a DC-DC boost converter. If it is wanted galvanic isolation it should be used high frequency
transformers. In Figure 5 (b) is presented an isolated unidirectional topology of DC-DC
converter, and in Figure 5 (d) is presented an isolated bidirectional topology of DC-DC
converter. As it is noticeable, when compared with the non-isolated topologies, these
isolated topologies use a greater number of power semiconductors, and besides, their
control systems are more complex.

Figure 5. Main DC-DC power converters topologies used in EVs batteries charging systems: (a)
unidirectional buck converter; (b) unidirectional isolated converter; (c) bidirectional buck boost
converter; (d) bidirectional isolated converter.
The typical structure of an EV batteries charging system results from the combination of the
AC-DC and DC-DC converters with the respective digital control system. For an
appropriate control it should be measured the voltage and current in the power grid side,
the DC link voltage, and the voltage and the current in the batteries. In Figure 6 is presented
a block diagram with both converters, the digital control system and the points of

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 159

Figure 6. Structure of an Electric Vehicle batteries charging system.
3.2. Typical waveforms
For better understanding the influence of the AC-DC power converters topologies in the
power grid quality, it should be analyzed their typical waveforms, with and without
sinusoidal current consumption. The typical waveform of the current consumed by a
conventional AC-DC power converter, without sinusoidal current consumption, presented
in Figure 4 (a), is shown in Figure 7. It is visible that the current is not sinusoidal. Due to the
line impedance the power grid voltage waveform is also affected. The harmonic spectrum of
this current is shown in Figure 8. The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of the consumed
current is 77.9%.

Figure 7. Typical waveforms of a conventional AC-DC power converter.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 160

Figure 8. Harmonic spectrum of the current waveform of a conventional AC-DC power converter.
The typical waveform of the current consumed by AC-DC power converters with sinusoidal
current consumption, presented in Figure 4 (b), (c), and (d), is shown in Figure 9.
As illustrated, the current waveform is sinusoidal and with unitary power factor. The
harmonic spectrum of this current is shown in Figure 10. The THD% of this consumed
current is 0.4%.

Figure 9. Typical current waveform of an AC-DC power converter with sinusoidal current

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 161

Figure 10. Harmonic spectrum of the current waveform of an AC-DC power converter with sinusoidal
current consumption.
Taking into account the predictable increase in the utilization of EVs, the AC-DC power
converters with sinusoidal current consumption are more appropriate to be implemented in
the batteries charging systems of these vehicles. During the V2G process, when the energy
stored in the batteries is delivered back to the power grid, it is also important to have control
over the current. The typical current waveform during this process is presented in Figure 11.
The harmonic spectrum of this current is shown in Figure 12. The THD% is 0.7%. As
illustrated, the current is in phase opposition with the voltage of the power grid.

Figure 11. Typical current waveform of an AC-DC power elecronic converter with sinusoidal current,
delivering energy back to the power grid.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 162

Figure 12. Harmonic spectrum of the typical current waveform of an AC-DC power converter with
sinusoidal current, delivering energy back to the power grid.
4. Developed electric vehicle batteries charging system
It was developed a laboratory prototype of a 3 kW batteries charging system that works
with sinusoidal current consumption and unitary power factor, and that allows the charging
of the batteries with different algorithms: constant-voltage, constant-current, and constant-
current followed by constant-voltage; in accordance with the State-of-Charge (SoC) level of
the batteries and with their technology, namely, lithium, nickel, and lead-acid. Figure 13
shows the schematic of the developed batteries charging system.
This batteries charging system also allows bidirectional flow of energy between the power
grid and the batteries, operating in both modes with sinusoidal current, and therefore, it can

Figure 13. Schematic of the developed Electric Vehicle batteries charging system.
DC charge
Signal Conditioning and Errors Detector (overvoltages e overcurrents)
ADCs inputs
Power Converter
Digital Control

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 163
be considered as a smart charger. As illustrated in Figure 13, it is constituted by two main
parts: the bidirectional power converter, which uses inductances, capacitors and IGBTs as
switching power semiconductors; and the control system, that is constituted by the
microcontroller, the signal conditioning circuit, the command drivers and the drivers.
4.1. Laboratory prototype
The laboratory prototype of the implemented smart EV batteries charging system is shown in
Figure 14. In this figure can be seen the different parts of the developed smart charging system,

Figure 14. Developed smart charging system for Electric Vehicle batteries: (a) Charging system
overview; (b) AC-DC and DC-DC Bidirectional power converters; (c) Command drivers board;
(d) Signal conditioning and errors detector board; (e) Microcontroller DSP TMS320F28335 board.
c d
a b

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 164
namely: the bidirectional power converters, the IGBTs drivers, the command drivers board,
the conditioning and errors detector board, and the microcontroller DSP TMS320F28335.
4.2. Experimental results
This laboratory prototype was tested for different conditions of operation. In Figure 15 are
presented the power grid voltage and the current consumed in steady state by the batteries
charging system. As it can be seen the consumed current is sinusoidal and in phase with the
power grid voltage. Figure 16 shows the waveforms of the power grid voltage and current
during the functioning as V2G. Since the vehicle is providing energy back to the power grid
the current is in phase opposition to the voltage. The power quality specifications are
fulfilled, and the current is sinusoidal.
Figure 17 presents the results obtained with the same batteries charging system,
but operating as a conventional charger (without sinusoidal current consumption). It is
possible to see that a conventional batteries charging system consumes highly distorted

Figure 15. Experimental results: electrical grid current and voltage (in phase) during batteries charging
- operation as G2V.

Batteries Charging Systems for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles 165

Figure 16. Experimental results: electrical grid current and voltage (in phase opposition) during
batteries discharging - operation as V2G.

Figure 17. Experimental results: electrical grid current and voltage with a conventional charger during
batteries charging - operation as G2V.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 166
5. Conclusion
Economic and environmental reasons are making EVs a reality of nowadays. The main
energy storage elements used in these vehicles are batteries of different technologies.
Batteries need to be charged and the more common source for that is the power grid.
However, the spread use of EVs will bring consequences to the power grid, mainly in terms
of load management and electric power quality, which are associated to the batteries
charging systems. Many developments in the area of the batteries charging systems are
being made, with the development of new topologies and control strategies. In parallel, the
development of Smart Grids and the spread of micro renewable energy production systems
have created a new paradigm in power grids.
This chapter assessed the electric mobility integration in the Smart Grid context, focusing
different approaches to the operation of EVs batteries charging systems, their different
topologies and features, modes of operation, typical waveforms, and impact in the power
grid in terms of power quality. It became apparent that if the vehicles charging systems
consume current with sinusoidal waveform and with unitary power factor, the THD of the
currents in the power grid is drastically reduced, the RMS values of the currents are
minimized, and thus the power grid voltage’s THD and amplitude are less affected by the
operation of the EVs batteries charging systems.
Also, in this chapter it was presented a laboratory prototype of a bidirectional EV batteries
charging system, and shown some experimental results, which allows mitigating the power
quality degradation of the power grid. During the batteries charging process, the voltage
and the current in the batteries are controlled in order to maximize their lifespan, and at the
same time consuming from the power grid sinusoidal current with unitary power factor.
This batteries charging system also permits to deliver back to the power grid part of the
energy stored in the batteries, which can be, in the near future, an interesting solution
during short periods of time, when occur peaks of energy demand in the power grid.
Author details
Vítor Monteiro, Henrique Gonçalves, João C. Ferreira and João L. Afonso
Centro Algoritmi, University of Minho,Guimarães, Portugal
This work is financed by FEDER Funds, through the Operational Program for
Competitiveness Factors – COMPETE, and by National Funds through FCT – Foundation
for Science and Technology, under the projects FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022674 and MIT-
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[18] M. Bollen, J. Zhong, F. Zavoda, J. Meyer, A. McEachern, F. Lopez, "Power Quality
aspects of Smart Grids," ICREPQ’10 International Conference on Renewables Energies
and Power Quality, pp.1-6, 2010.
[19] R. Alves, D. Gonçalves, J.G. Pinto, J.Batista, João L. Afonso, “Development of an Electrical
Power Quality Monitor Based on a PC”, IECON 2009 - The 35th Annual Conference of the
IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, Porto, Portugal, 3 5 November, 2009.
[20] João L. Afonso, Carlos Couto, Júlio Martins, “Active Filters with Control Based on the
p-q Theory”, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society Newsletter, vol. 47, issue:3, pp.5 10,
September, 2000.
[21] V. Monteiro, H. Gonçalves, João L. Afonso, “Impact of Electric Vehicles on Power
Quality in a Smart Grid Context”, 11th IEEE International Conference on Electrical
Power Quality and Utilization (EPQU), Lisbon-Portugal, 17-19 October, 2011.
[22] João C. Ferreira, Alberto R. Silva, V. Monteiro, João L. Afonso, “Collaborative Broker for
Distributed Energy Resources”, International Symposium on Computational
Intelligence for Engineering Systems (ISCIES), ISEC, Coimbra-Portugal, 16-18
November, 2011.
[23] L.G.B. Rolim, A. Ortiz, M. Aredes, R. Pregitzer, J.G. Pinto, J.L. Afonso, “Custom Power
Interfaces for Renewable Energy Sources”, Proceedings of ISIE 2007- 2007 IEEE
International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, Vigo, Spain, 4-7 June, 2007.
[24] MAGICC - Mid-Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars Consortium, "MAGICC Brochure"
[Online]. Available:
[25] V. Monteiro, João C. Ferreira, J.G. Pinto, D. Pedrosa, João L. Afonso, “iV2G Charging
Platform” 13th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems
(ITSC), pp. 409-414, Madeira-Portugal, 19-22 September, 2010.
[26] W. Kempton, J. Tomic, "Vehicle-to-Grid Power Fundamentals: Calculating Capacity and
net Revenue," Journal of Power Sources, vol.144, issue:1, pp.268-279, 2005.
[27] S. Shahidinejad, S. Filizadeh, E. Bibeau, "Profile of Charging Load on the Grid Due to
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[28] Y. Ota, H. Taniguchi, T. Nakajima, K.M. Liyanage, J. Baba, A. Yokoyama, "Autonomous
Distributed V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) considering Charging Request and Battery
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Europe), pp.1-6, 2010.
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International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, pp. 392-396, 2010.
Chapter 6
Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the
Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators
Ruben Ivankovic, Jérôme Cros, Mehdi Taghizadeh Kakhki,
Carlos A. Martins and Philippe Viarouge
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Until in the early 1960s, automobiles used a DC generator called dynamo. The availability
of affordable power diodes in the beginning of 1960s paved the way for the widespread use
of three-phase claw-pole alternators (or Lundell alternators) for the generation of electric
power in motor vehicles. After more than 50 years, this system is still the most economic
choice in today’s vehicles due to its low manufacturing cost. However, the efficiency and
output power of the Lundell alternators are limited. This is a major drawback for its use in
modern vehicles requiring an increase in electrical power. Many alternatives are being
considered to replace the Lundell alternator such as the salient pole machines, however they
require large investments in manufacturing infrastructure. In this context, this chapter
focuses on the improvements of Lundell alternators that could represent the best solutions
for the short term. First, we present the conventional automotive generating system, its
performance and the limitation of modelling methods. We also discuss various solutions to
increase the output power of Lundell alternators without any geometry modification. These
include the use of reconfigurable windings and replacement of the diode rectifier by
different electronic converters such as a synchronous rectifier or an interleaved PWM
rectifier will be considered.
2. Generating system with a Lundell alternator
Today, the great majority of electrical generator systems installed on combustion powered
vehicles are based on a three-phase wound-field synchronous machine. The conventional
automotive generator has a claw pole rotor with a single excitation coil wound axially. It is
often named “Lundell” alternator (Fig. 1). The excitation coil is surrounded by two solid
iron pole pieces, or claw poles, and is fed via a pair of slip rings and two carbon brushes.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 170
The stator is composed of a slotted laminated iron core and a three-phase overlapped
winding, wye or delta connected. It is a wave-winding in most cases. Fig. 1 shows a
dismantled Lundell alternator (Delcotron 22SI) and its main components. The number of
rotor poles for passenger vehicles is generally fixed at 12 poles. The stator has often a single
slot per pole and per phase (36 total slots). High power alternators for some applications like
buses, trucks or other special vehicles have higher pole numbers (between 14 and 18).
Increasing the number of poles reduces the inductance of the stator winding, and as a result,
increases the short circuit current. Unfortunately the magnetic losses will also increase due
to the higher electrical frequency. So the choice of pole number is actually based on a
compromise between the magnetic losses and alternator power requirements. The alternator
is coupled to the combustion motor through a belt. In passenger cars the maximum
alternator speed (typically 8000 RPM) is about two times more than that of the engine
crankshaft (a pulley ratio of 1:2). The Lundell alternator is generally characterized by its
form factor (a relatively large diameter compared to its length) which facilitates thermal

Figure 1. Dismantled alternator parts: (a) 6 diode full- bridge power rectifier, (b) excitation rectifier, (c)
regulator, (d) brush assembly, (e) aluminum rear housing, (f) stator winding, (g) stator laminated core,
(h) aluminum front housing, (i) aluminum fan, (j) slip rings, (k) excitation winding, (l) claw-shaped pole
2.1. Electrical circuit
Fig. 2 shows the simplified schema of a vehicle generation system. Usually six diodes in a
full-bridge configuration are used to rectify the output current. The rectifier is divided in
two sets of three diodes. The metal casing of the first set is typically pressed into a heat sink
(or welded to the heat sink) for better thermal dissipation.

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 171
The output power is controlled by regulating the field current. The regulator maintains a
constant output voltage on the battery despite the varying alternator speed and variable
load conditions. This voltage depends highly on the ambient temperature and the chemical
characteristics of the battery and necessitates a temperature compensation by the regulator.
The regulator-excitation circuit is often supplied by an additional half- bridge rectifier
instead of the battery (Exciter rectifier).
In the alternators with wye connected windings, two or more other auxiliary diodes are
connected between the neutral point and the main rectifier output terminals. In this way it is
possible to rectify the induced third harmonic voltage and increase the output current at
high speeds.

Figure 2. Simplified schema of conventional vehicle generating system with a Lundell alternator.
2.2. Alternator performance curves
Performance curves of an alternator are used to show its performance across the whole
speed range. Fig. 3 shows the performance curves of a 100A commercial alternator obtained
for a battery voltage of 14 V, an ambient temperature of 25° C, and for the maximum
excitation current (near 6A).
The output current curve is characterized essentially by three operation points. The first one
is the generation starting speed (ΩDG) or 0-Ampere speed at which the alternator reaches its
rated voltage without delivering power. The second one is the maximum output current at
the highest speed, which corresponds approximately to the DC short-circuit current of the
alternator (ISC). Also, a special attention is paid to the output power requirement at engine
idle speed (ΩR) at which the alternator must deliver at least the power needed for long-term
consumers. No output power is required below the idle speed. Another operating point
often mentioned is the speed at rated current (ΩN).
2.3. Alternator efficiency
Generally, Lundell alternators are characterized by low efficiency due to important
mechanical, copper, and magnetic losses. The efficiency of the alternator varies widely

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 172
depending on load conditions, alternator speed and alternator size. As shown in fig. 3, the
efficiency is only 53% at idle speed (losses: 675W) and about 42% at 6000 RPM (losses:
2100W). Larger and heavier alternators may be more efficient for the same speed and load
conditions, however, this advantage can be compensated by the increase in fuel
consumption due to the higher weight (0.1 L/100km fuel consumption for each additional 10
kg for a medium sized vehicle)(Beretta, 2008). Table 1 shows the distribution of losses in an
alternator (Beretta, 2008) for two different speeds (full excitation field).

Figure 3. Characteristic of the output maximum current and efficiency as a function of speed for an
alternator (Delcotron 22SI type12V-100A) at a battery voltage of 14V, ambient temperature of 25° C and
maximum excitation current.

1800 RPM 6000 RPM
Mechanical losses 2% 6%
Excitation losses (rotor) 7% 3%
Magnetic losses (stator) 21% 20%
Copper losses (stator) 49% 57%
power rectifier losses 21% 14%
Table 1. Distribution of losses in an alternator for two different speeds (full excitation field).
2.3.1. Mechanical losses
Mechanical losses are generated by brush and bearing friction and losses created by the claw
pole rotor and fan (windage losses). The mechanical losses increase considerably at higher
speeds (Bosch, 2003). In the current air cooled alternators, one or two fans are used for
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000


Alternator speed [rpm]
Output current

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 173
convection cooling. These fans add to the alternator (aerodynamic) losses and are also
responsible for an important part of the alternator audible noise at higher speeds.
2.3.2. Copper losses
As shown in Table 1, the main losses in the alternator are the stator copper losses. Increasing
the filling factor will reduce copper losses, however, this is limited by the industrial
production constraints (Beretta, 2008).
Other sources of ohmic losses include the losses in the rectifier diodes, regulator losses and
and losses occurring due to the contact resistance between the slip rings and brushes.
2.3.3. Magnetic losses
At nominal excitation current and at lower speeds, the output current is low and the stator
is fully saturated due to the weak magnetic reaction. This will result in important magnetic
losses in the stator core. Increasing the speed and output current while maintaining the
same excitation reduces the flux density in the stator. With this demagnetisation effect the
magnetic losses become proportional to speed itself rather than the square of speed (as
expected in no-load conditions). Reducing the lamination thickness can lead to a significant
reduction of the magnetic losses (0.5 mm or 0.35 mm instead of 1 mm).
Since the claw pole parts are made of solid forged iron, the eddy currents can easily
circulate. This will also add to magnetic losses at very low speeds and low loads where the
flux density in the air-gap (generated mainly by excitation field) is modulated by the stator
slot openings. At higher speeds, the stator magneto-motive force (MMF) produces space
harmonic fields in the air-gap which are augmented by the slot openings and again produce
claw-pole eddy currents (Boldea, 2006). To reduce magnetic losses in the rotor, it is possible
to use a laminated material but the assembly process is more complex (Bretta, 2008).
2.3.4. Cooling of the alternator
An efficient cooling method is necessary to limit the temperature in the motor beyond the
permissible limits (a junction temperature of 200°C for the diodes and the stator winding).
The thermal dissipation in an alternator is mainly by convection through one or two cooling
fans. The small amount of heat generated in the rotor can be dissipated by conduction
through alternator bearings.
As an alternative to air cooling, it is possible to cool the alternator more efficiently with a
circulation of the engine coolant in the alternator housing. It also reduces the alternator’s
noise level by omitting the cooling fan(s).
3. Alternator modeling for performance analysis
In order to evaluate the performance of the alternator under variable load conditions, both the
machine and rectifier systems shall be modeled with appropriate magnetic and electrical models.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 174
3.1. Electrical modeling of the Lundell alternator with an equivalent circuit
3.1.1. Electrical modeling of the machine
A 3-phase synchronous machine can be modeled by its equivalent circuit as shown in fig. 4.
The parameters of the electrical alternator model are derived from the no-load EMF versus
rotor field current characteristic EV(jrotor) and the short circuit characteristic ICC(jrotor). The
stator cyclic inductance (L(jrotor)) is derived from both tests by applying Eq. 1 where ω is the
electrical frequency.

Figure 4. Equivalent circuit model of a 3-phase synchronous machine
A high rotor field current produces magnetic saturation and the stator inductance value
decreases. The accuracy of such a model highly depends on the parameters identification or
computation method. The armature phase resistance is measured at the rated temperature rise.

( )
( )
( )
V rotor
CC rotor
E j
L j
I j e
3.1.2. Modeling of the alternator- rectifier
It is possible to evaluate analytically the steady state performance of a 3-phase alternator -
rectifier system connected to a voltage source (fig. 5) as shown in (Figueroa et al., 2005). This
type of modeling uses the electrical equivalent circuit of the machine to directly determine
the steady state copper losses, current harmonic contents and DC bus current.
It is faster than a step by step simulation method as employed by simulators for power
electronics (PSIM, Saber) and it is well adapted for use within an optimization loop for
system evaluation purposes. However, it uses simplifications which compromise the
accuracy of the results including rotor saliency, and magnetic losses in the machine.
To evaluate the simulation method, an experimental set-up is used to compare the output
performance of the alternator with various rectifier topologies (fig. 6). Torque is measured
by a rotating torque sensor and a strain gauge. The alternator is driven by a 5 kW DC motor

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 175
via a belt and pulley system. A position encoder is also available. The rectifier has been
taken out from the machine and the voltage regulator has been removed so that the
excitation current could be imposed using an external current source. The same
experimental set-up will allow the comparison of various converter topologies and winding
configurations for alternators. It has been used for all the experimental work presented in
this chapter.

Figure 5. Circuit model of a generation system with a diode rectifier

Figure 6. Test bench, a) converter (b) conventional rectifier, (c) alternator, (d) torque sensor, (e) position
sensor, (f) DC motor

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 176
Fig. 7 shows the characteristics of the output maximum current and efficiency versus speed
provided by the manufacturer along with those obtained by simulation. The simulation
slightly overestimates the output current particularly in the central part of the curve. This
could be explained by the absence of magnetic losses in the simulation, assumption of a
sinusoidal EMF and inaccuracies in parameter identification. Despite these drawbacks, it
can be seen that the proposed model is able to provide a current versus speed curve of
satisfactory accuracy. In the same figure, it can be seen that the absence of the magnetic and
mechanical losses leads to a significant overestimation of the efficiency.

Figure 7. Comparative analysis of simulation and experimental results (from manufacturer) of the
alternator output characteristics
3.2. Simulation limitations
The use of a PWM controlled rectifier (fig. 8) instead of a diode rectifier allows for the
following main benefits: boosting operation for increasing the output power at low speed
and power factor correction in the machine for maximization of output power.
In Lundell alternators, the magnetic circuit is saturated for the rated field current. With a
Conventional Diode Rectifier (CDR), the armature reaction always has a demagnetizing
effect since the voltage is in phase with the current. In case of controlled rectifiers, the
armature reaction can have a magnetizing effect at low speeds depending on the power
angle. Therefore, the power increase due to power angle control is less significant than what
one could expect when magnetic saturation is increased by the armature reaction. As shown
in fig. 7, the simplified electrical model provides a good current estimation in the case of the
diode rectifier while the magnetic saturation of armature field is neglected. This is not the
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
Vitesse de rotation [rpm]



Courant Fabricant
Courant Simulation
Rendement Fabricant
Rendement Simulation
____ Mfg. Current
____  Sim. Current 
_ _ _  Mfg. Efficiency 
_ _ _  Sim. Efficiency 
Speed [rpm] 

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 177
case with a PWM rectifier and the output current is often over estimated by the simulation
as shown in fig. 9.

Figure 8. Circuit model of a generation system with a PWM controlled rectifier

Figure 9. The output current obtained by simulation for a diode rectifier and a PWM full-bridge
rectifier compared to experimental results
3.3. Magnetic modeling
Different magnetic models can be used to compute the parameters of the machine’s
equivalent circuit, provided that they take account of magnetic saturation.
A first one is based on a magnetic reluctance network that takes into account the machine
geometry and the magnetic material B(H) characteristic (Ostovich et al., 1999). The analytical
method based on the reluctance network is fast due to its simplifying assumptions.
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000


Alternator speed [rpm]
PWM rectifier simulation
PWM rectifier experimental

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 178
A second method is based on 3 Dimensional Finite Element (3D FE) modeling (Küppers &
Henneberger, 1997) which is particularly interesting for the analysis and evaluation of
saturation and magnetic losses. Finite element methods are the most accurate but are time
consuming for a variable speed machine and under variable load conditions.
Fig. 10 shows the results of 3D FE simulation of a claw pole alternator with 36 slots and 12
poles. With the 3D FE modeling, the electrical parameters of the alternator can be directly
obtained by applying two methods: a method using the scalar potential and another one
using the vector potential (Cros et al., 2008). Fig. 11 shows the output current versus speed
characteristics obtained with the electrical parameters of scalar potential and the vector
potential models. The right characteristic is between the two curves (Henneron et al., 2004).

Figure 10. The results of 3D FE simulation of a claw pole alternator

Figure 11. Simulated DC current output vs speed characteristics with two 3D FE methods
0 2000 4000 6000 8000
Speed [RPM]
DC current [A]
3D FE scal ar potential s
3D FE vector potentials

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 179
4. Improving the alternator’s performance
This section focuses on various possible solutions to increase the output power of Lundell
alternators without any geometry modification. This can be achieved by a winding
reconfiguration to modify the number of turns per phase. A low number of turns increases
power at high speed and a high number of turns improves the idle current. Another way is
to rewind the alternator with a lower number of turns and to replace the conventional diode
rectifier by an active PWM rectifier. The active rectifier boosts the alternator voltage in order
to attain acceptable performances during low speed operation.
4.1. Influence of the number of turns on the performance
The number of turns in the stator winding has a significant effect on the output
performances of an alternator connected to a Conventional Diode Rectifier (CDR) and a
battery. The output current and the efficiency during high-speed operation can be easily
increased by reducing the number of conductors per phase. However, the reduction of the
number of turns presents also an unacceptable drawback which is a severe reduction of the
output power during idle operation. On the other hand, one should increase the number of
turns to improve performance at low speeds.
If the total copper cross section is not modified, the maximum current density is always the
same and so the copper losses are not increased. Equation (2) shows the electrical
parameters variation of the stator equivalent model (resistance R, cyclical inductance L and
no-load flux Φ) according to the number of conductors per slot N when the total copper
cross section is kept constant.

2 2
0 0 0
, , L N L R N R N | | = · = · = · (2)
Fig. 12 shows a comparison of output characteristics with a number of turns per phase divided
by two. The stator winding with the highest number of turns halves the speed of the
generation starting point but it produces twice less output current during high-speed
operation. One can notice that the winding with twice less turns provides better performance
(higher current with lower copper losses) as soon as the speed exceeds 2700 rpm.
4.2. Winding reconfiguration
Winding reconfiguration is an interesting approach to improve output power, efficiency and
satisfy idle current specifications.
4.2.1. Delta-wye and the series-parallel reconfiguration
One solution is to divide each phase winding in several coil groups and to modify the
winding configuration by using several switches. It is then possible to obtain different
connections of the coil groups (parallel, series, delta, wye) as a function of the speed. Fig. 13
shows the delta-wye and the series-parallel reconfiguration (Liang et al., 1999).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 180

Figure 12. Influence of winding number of turns on the output performance with a diode rectifier

Figure 13. a) Series- Parallel reconfiguration, b) Wye- Delta winding reconfiguration
4.2.2. Multi-winding stator with series/parallel diode rectifier
One can also use a multi-winding stator with different number of turns to adapt the output
characteristics (output current and efficiency) with a single voltage output. In this case, the
different windings are connected to different diode rectifiers and must be magnetically
decoupled (Cros et al., 2003). In order to compare the relative performance, we consider a given
stator with the electrical parameters of a single-winding configuration (L0, R0 and Φ0). Equation
(3) shows the new electrical parameters of a m-winding configuration in the same stator.

2 2 0 0 0
, ,
i i i
m m m
| = · = · = · (3)

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 181
If we consider m=2, it is possible to optimize the first winding system for the lower speeds
and the second one for the higher speeds by choosing the right number of turns in each
winding while maintaining the same copper volume per slot. For example, one may use N
conductors for the first winding and N/2 conductors for the second one, as shown in fig. 14.
Fig. 15. shows a comparison of output characteristics between a single-winding
configuration with N conductors per slot and the double-winding configuration of fig. 14.
Note that the double-winding configuration provides higher output current when the speed
is greater than 2700 rpm but the current is reduced at low-speed.

Figure 14. Multi- winding alternator with a number of turns equal to N for the first winding and N/2
for the second one.

Figure 15. Performances comparison with a multi-winding stator configuration
/2 L

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 182
To improve the performance over the whole speed range, it is more interesting to use the
same number of turns in the two winding systems and make parallel/series reconfigurations
at the rectifier outputs as shown in fig. 16. This method is easier to implement than the AC
phase winding reconfiguration. It uses only one unidirectional switch and two additional
diodes. Fig. 17 shows the performances of a double-winding configuration using the same
number of conductors per slot as the original single-winding. A series connection provides
the same output current as the original alternator, during low-speed operation when diode
voltage drop is neglected. Once the speed exceeds 2700 rpm, a parallel connection is used to
obtain higher output current and lower copper losses.

Figure 16. Reconfigurable parallel/series diode rectifiers

Figure 17. Performance of reconfigurable parallel/series diode rectifiers

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 183
4.2.3. Determination of parameters for rewound and multi-winding alternators
The winding scheme of a reconfigured alternator compared to the original one (Delcotron
22SI Type 12V-100A) is depicted in Fig. 18. In order to minimize the magnetic coupling, the
first 3-phase winding is wound using half stator (18 slots) and the second 3-phase winding
using the other half. The new lap windings have the same coil pitch as the original
alternator and 12 conductors per slot. The alternator parameters are given in Table 2. The
magnetic coupling between the two 3-phase winding systems has been measured for
different rotor positions and the maximal measured mutual inductance between them
reaches 4% of the measured self-inductance.
Assuming that magnetic coupling is negligible, the electrical parameters of a multiple three
phase winding system can be computed from the original alternator parameters (L0, R0, ΦNL0
with N0 conductors per slot). When the same stator is rewound with m three-phase windings
and N conductors per slot, the new electrical parameters can be expressed as:

2 2
0 0 0
2 2
0 0
, ,
mN mN
| | = · = · = · (4)
The analysis of these equations and the experimental results (Table 2) confirms that both
winding systems are magnetically decoupled.

Original Rewound Double-Winding
Armature connection Delta
Pairs of poles 6
Stator slots number 36
Nominal field current 6 A
Turns per slot 11 6 12
Wire cross section 1.75 mm
3.30 mm
1.65 mm

Resistance at 25°C 0.1 Ω 0.035 Ω 0.07 Ω
Cyclic Inductance (If = 6A) 390 μH 115 μH 225 μH
No-load flux (If = 6A) 28.6 mWb 15.8 mWb 16.0 mWb
Generation-starting speed (If = 6A ) 910 rpm 1670 rpm 1650 rpm
Output current at 8000rpm (If =6A) 116 A 215 A 218 A
Efficiency at 8000rpm (If = 6A) 38 % 53 % 53.5 %
Table 2. Alternator parameters (Delcotron 22si type 12v-100a)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 184

Figure 18. Winding scheme: (a) original 3-phase Delcotron alternator, (b) double-winding Delcotron
4.3. Alternative converter solutions
4.3.1. Synchronous rectifier
A synchronous rectifier is an interesting alternative to conventional diode rectifiers. The
main advantage of such converters is the reduced rectifier losses particularly at higher
speeds if MOSFETs with low on-resistance (e.g. 4 mΩ (Beretta, 2008)) are used. Besides, it
may be also employed in applications where bidirectional power transfer is required such as
stop-start system (Beretta, 2008). In a start-stop system developed by Citroën, the claw-pole
machine performs the functions of both starter and alternator. In the starter mode, the phase
current and EMF in each phase are synchronised for maximum torque using a position
sensor. In the alternator mode, the converter operates as a synchronous rectifier. The voltage
drop may be as low as 0.2 V for an output current of 120 A in contrast to 0.8 V to 1.1 V for a
diode. The losses can be 60 % lower compared to a diode rectifier (Beretta, 2008). In both
modes of operation the switching losses will be much lower than PWM converters due to
lower switching frequency. In the alternator mode the switching frequency may be as high
as 2800 Hz (at 4000 rpm), however the drain currents are kept close to zero during MOSFET
switching (Beretta, 2008).
4.3.2. PWM controlled full-bridge rectifier (PFBR)
In order to exploit the alternator at its maximum capabilities, it is interesting to set an
optimum power angle as proposed in (Liang et al.,1999) and (Liang et al.,1996). This can be
achieved with a PWM full-bridge rectifier (PFBR) as already shown in fig. 8. For each point
of operation, the modulation index k and the angle θ between phase voltage and back-EMF
are adjusted to maximize the output power with sinusoidal PWM control.
A PFBR is a quite expensive and complex solution; it counts for several active switches and
requires rotor position sensing or complex sensorless algorithms (Boldea, 2006). However,
like a synchronous rectifier, it offers bidirectional power flow control.

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 185
Fig. 19 shows the maximum output current and efficiency obtained by using a sinusoidal
PWM and a control technique maximizing output power. It also shows the output current
curves obtained with original and rewound alternators connected to a conventional diode
rectifier. If compared to the rewound alternator with CDR (RACDR), the PFBR connected to
the same alternator increases the output power for speeds below 4000 rpm. (For winding
parameters see Table 1). During high speed operation, it is preferable to operate in
synchronous rectification mode.

Figure 19. Experimental output current and efficiency vs. speed using a PFBR
The comparison of the output current characteristics with the original alternator shows that
the current generated with the PFBR is lower in the range of 1000 to 2000 rpm (Fig. 19). Note
that idle power requirement is not satisfied with the PFBR. This is partly due to the
magnetic saturation and significant voltage drops across active switches.
4.3.3. Other PWM rectifiers
If bidirectional power flow is not required, the three single-phase BSBR structure shown in
fig. 20 is a simpler solution. It has twice less active switches and all of them are referenced to
the ground. Active switches can be reduced to only one using a Boost Switched-Mode
Rectifier (BSMR), shown in fig. 21. With this topology, it is not necessary to use a rotor
position sensor but the power angle can’t be controlled.
4.3.4. High frequency ripple reduction of the output current using interleaving
All presented PWM rectifier topologies deliver an output DC current with abrupt current
steps and high di/dt’s. These high-amplitude fast-moving current transitions generate RF
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000


Alternator speed [rpm]
RACDR output current
Original alternator current
PFBR output current

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 186
noise that flows to the battery and then pollutes other loads connected to the battery.
Attenuation of these current variations to an acceptable level requires a very large output
capacitor. This can lead to considerable efforts to comply with EMC standards (Maxim,
2001). Battery current ripple results in battery heating and a corresponding rise in

Figure 20. Boost semi-bridge rectifier (BSBR)

Figure 21. Boost switched-mode rectifier (BSMR)
Benefits of interleaved converters on current ripple, components stress and EMI reduction
are well known for several different applications (Consoli et al., 2004), (Crebier et al., 2005).
The main constraint of interleaved structures is the magnetic coupling between the different
windings. Both converters must be connected to different three-phase windings that are not
magnetically coupled to avoid a decrease of performances. Fig. 22 shows an example of two
interleaved BSMRs with two identical three-phase winding systems having a same back-
EMF. Q1 and Q2 are driven by two signals having the same duty-cycle and the same
frequency but the phase is shifted by 180 degrees.

Figure 22. Two interleaved BSMRs connected to two identical three-phase windings

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 187
Interleaving decreases the current ripple for any value of duty-cycle and it allows for total
ripple cancellation when D = 0.5. Equation (5) gives the optimal duty-cycle for a number m
of interleaved rectifiers where ki is an integer.

( )
opt i i
D m k with k m
= ÷ < < (5)
4.3.5. PWM BSMR with high frequency ripple cancellation
The structure of fig. 23 could be also implemented using the double-winding stator system
presented above and two BSMRs operated with fixed optimal duty-cycle (D = 0.5). The
rectifier control is thus extremely simple and no position sensing is required. Experimental
current waveforms are shown in fig. 23 (left). When comparing the output current ripple
with the one obtained with the non-interleaved converter presented in fig 23 (right), one can
appreciate the considerable output current ripple reduction due to interleaving. (from 66A
rms to 6.1A rms).
4.3.6. PWM BSBR with high frequency ripple cancellation
It is also interesting to operate two interleaved BSBRs with a fixed duty-cycle of 0.5 to obtain
an ideal ripple cancellation. Hence the simplest control mode consists in driving all the
switches of the first converter with the same gate signal and all the switches of the second
converter with the same complementary signal. This method doesn’t require additional
rotor position sensing. Since the duty cycle is fixed at 0.5, no more control of the power
angle is achievable.
The BSBR has a voltage drop per device less than the BSMR. This leads to better
performance over the whole speed range

Figure 23. Experimental current waveforms for: left) interleaved BSMRs; right) non-interleaved BSMRs,
at 2000rpm with If = 6A. (Vertical scale: 60 A/div, horizontal scale:200 μs/div)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 188
4.4. General comparison
To compare the power improvement provided by the different rectifier topologies, the
average power output Pavg. and efficiency qavg. are estimated over the same drive cycle (a
combination of the two vehicle speed cycles EPA UDDS and EPA US06) using the steady
state performance curves with the rated field current. The results are given in Table 2.
Over the same driving cycle, the average power increase with respect to the original
alternator ranges from 62% to 67% depending on the topology. The average efficiency has
been improved by 10.6 to 11.5 percentage points.
The average output power and the efficiency are very similar for all the structures connected
to a rewound machine since all structures regain the conventional diode rectifying mode
during high-speed operation. In fact, the controlled rectifier is essentially used at idle speed.
Remarkable differences are although noticeable on the idle mode output power. Note that
none of the topologies regains the original idle power. The closest idle power is obtained
with the CSPR (-13%). Furthermore, the BSMR and BSBR deliver surprisingly more output
power when interleaving is used. This can be partially explained by lower ESR losses in the
output capacitor. However, the fact that two different machines are used (single-winding
alternator and double-winding alternator) can have an influence too.
The approximate cost estimation for each solution can be derived from the number and
ratings of the semiconductors and from the output filter size. It is assumed that the machine
cost is not affected by rewinding and the filter size is proportional to the AC ripple
component of the output current.
For semiconductors sizing, only rms current ratings are taken in account. In fact, in all
topologies, each switch has to withstand the same reverse voltage which corresponds to
VOUT (voltage transients neglected). Current ratings are normalized with respect to ISC. Table 3
shows the parts count and their ratings for each topology.

Topology Pidle Pavg. qavg.
Original Alternator 1059W 1.0pu 1454W 1.0pu 42.4%
Rewound alternator with PFBR 899W 0.85pu 2430W 1.67pu 53.6%
Rewound alternator with BSBR 831W 0.78pu 2413W 1.66pu 53.9%
Rewound alternator with BSMR 779W 0.74pu 2350W 1.62pu 53.4%
Double-winding alternator with interleaved BSBR 869W 0.82pu 2419W 1.66pu 53.8%
Double-winding alternator with interleaved BSMR 799W 0.75pu 2353W 1.62pu 53.0%
Double-winding alternator with CSPR 918W 0.87pu 2389W 1.64pu 53.5%
Table 3. Idle power, average output power and efficiency over the same driving cycle for each topology
In the case of interleaved structures, semiconductor parts are multiplied by two. However,
the active silicon area remains the same and distribution of switching power can eventually
even be advantageous. Also note that for non-interleaved structures using PWM, the rms
value of the ripple component of the output current is about 10 times more significant than

Power Electronic Solutions to Improve the Performance of Lundell Automotive Alternators 189
with other structures. The resulting filtering requirements for EMC standards compliance
can easily lead to bulky and expensive solutions.

































Original Alternator 6 0.52pu - - - - 0.04pu
PFBR - - 6 0.52pu 6 0.37pu 0.48pu
BSBR 3 0.52pu 3 0.52pu 3 0.37pu 0.5pu
BSMR 6 0.52pu 1 1.0pu 1 1.0pu 0.5pu
Interleaved BSBR 6 0.26pu 6 0.26pu 6 0.18pu 0.04
Interleaved BSMR 12 0.26pu 2 0.5pu 2 0.35pu 0.04
CSPR 12 0.26pu 2

0.5pu 1 0.5pu 0.04pu
* neglecting HF ripple through inductances
Table 4. Semiconductor parts count and normalized current ratings for each topology
5. Conclusion
The low efficiency and the limitation of the output power are major drawbacks of the
Lundell alternator. Replacing these alternators with other types of machine is not an
economic choice because of their low manufacturing cost. However, improving the
performance of existing machines is still the best way for the short term future. This chapter
discusses the performance of the conventional automotive alternators and various modeling
methods for the simulation of the alternator-rectifiers. Some improvements without
geometry modification have been proposed and validated using standard frame of
automotive alternator. The results show that the modification of the number of turns and
replacing the diode rectifier with other electronic converters could significantly increase the
output current and the efficiency. However, there are many other possibilities for enhancing
the performance which have not been considered. For example, the transition from 14V to a
42V system, will allow to increase the efficiency of the power electronics rectifier by
reducing the conduction losses. The optimization of the claw-pole machine, the use of
hybrid structure with permanent magnets, laminations of higher quality, and liquid cooling
are alternative methods to enhance the performance.
Author details
Ruben Ivankovic, Jérôme Cros, Mehdi Taghizadeh Kakhki,
Carlos A. Martins and Philippe Viarouge
Laval University, Canada

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 190
6. References
Beretta, J. (2008). Electronique, électricite et mecatronique automobile, Lavoisier, ISBN:978-2-
7462-1245-9, Paris
Boldea, I. (2006). Automotive Claw-Pole-Rotor Generator Systems, In: Variable speed
generators, Taylor & Francis Group, ISBN 0-8493-5715-2
Bosch (2003). Alternators, In: Automotive electrics and electronics, Bauer, H., pp. 112-163, SAE
International, ISBN 0-7680-0508-6, Stuttgart
Consoli, A.; Cacciato, M.; Scarcely, G. & Testa, A. (2004). Compact, reliable efficiency.
Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE, vol.10, no.6, pp. 35- 42, Nov.-Dec. 2004
Crebier J.C.; Revol, B. & Ferrieux J.P. (2005). Boost chopper derived PFC rectifier: Interest and
Reality. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol.52, No.1, February 2005, pp 36-45
Cros, J.; Paynot, C.; Figuerora, J. & Viarouge, P. (2003). Multi-Star PM brushless DC motor
for traction application, EPE’2003, Toulouse, 2-4 sept. 2003.
Cros, J; Radaorozandry, L; Figueroa, J & Viarouge, P. (2008). Influence of the magnetic
model accuracy on the optimal design of a car alternator, in Int. Journal for Computation
and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering -COMPEL, Vol 27, Issue 1, pp.
196-204, 2008.
Figueroa, J.; Cros, J. & Viarouge, P. (2005). Analytical model of a 3-phase rectifier for the
design of a car alternator, Proceedings of Electrimacs conference, Tunisia, Apr. 2005
Henneron T., Clénet S., Cros J. & Viarouge P. (2004), “Evaluation of 3D Finite Element
Method to Study and Design a Soft Magnetic Composite Machine”, Magnetics, IEEE
Transactions on, Vol.40 , No2, pp786 – 789.
Kuppers, S.; Henneberger, G. (1997), "Numerical procedures for the calculation and design
of automotive alternators," Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on, vol.33, no.2, pp.2022-2025,
Mar 1997
Liang, F.; Miller, J.M. & Xu, X. (1999). A vehicle electric power generation system with
improved output power and efficiency. Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on,
vol.35, no.6, pp.1341-1346, Nov/Dec 1999
Liang, F.; Miller, J.M. & Zarei, S. (1996). A control scheme to maximize output power of a
synchronous alternator in a vehicle power generation system, in Conf. Rec. IEEE-IAS
Annual Meeting, Oct. 1996, pp. 830-835
Maxim/ Dallas semiconductors (2001), Circuit tradeoffs minimize noise in battery-input
power supplies, In: Application note 653, 8 pages, 22 January. 2001. Available from:
Nipp, E. & Norberg, E. (1998) , "On the feasibility of switched stator windings in permanent
magnet motors for traction drives," Railroad Conference, 1998. Proceedings of the 1998
ASME/IEEE Joint , vol., no., pp.33-39, 15-16 Apr 1998
Ostovic, V.; Miller, J.M.; Garg, V.K.; Schultz, R.D. & Swales, S.H. (1999), "A magnetic-
equivalent-circuit-based performance computation of a Lundell alternator," Industry
Applications, IEEE Transactions on , vol.35, no.4, pp.825-830, Jul/Aug 1999
Perrault, D. & Caliskan, V. (2004). Automotive Power Generation and Control. IEEE
Transactions on Power Electronics, Vol. 19 No. 3, May 2004, pp 618-630.
Chapter 7
Antennas for Automobiles
Niels Koch
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
In recent years, we spent more and more time in our cars. So it became obvious to
implement Car Entertainment Systems into the car for comfort and driver information. Car
entertainment began with AM-reception on short wave bands. FM-tuners on VHF bands
followed soon, with stereo sound, cassette players and CD-players to entertain passengers.
Today we know a number of different analog- and digital broadcasting systems, such as
DAB, DMB, DRM, DVB, as well as satellite broadcasting systems such as SDARS.
For driver information, modern navigation systems not only help to find the most efficient
route, but also give an overview of traffic situation. Car-to-Car Communication and Car-to-
Infrastructure Communication is currently one of the most popular field of researches for
efficient car information systems.
All of these systems have in common that they are wireless systems, hence a number of
antennas must be used satisfying all different services in different frequency bands. In
modern cars we find up to 24 antennas placed on the vehicle and inside the vehicle. In the
next years the number will even rise.
This Chapter is structured into different subsections. At first we set the requirements for
vehicular antennas. Then we search for locations where to place the antenna for optimal
reception and for which service and wireless system the best antenna technology is selected. All
this is fundamentally supported by best-practice examples, including how to beat fading effects.
2. Requirements for vehicular antennas
In order to have a good reception in a vehicle, some prerequisites must be fulfilled.
First of all, and this seems very obvious, the antenna must receive from any direction
around the car. If this requirement cannot be satisfied with one antenna only, then an
antenna array (two or more antennas) shall be considered.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 192
In general, an antenna shall be as high over ground on the vehicle as possible. The higher
the antenna is placed over ground, the better is can receive and transmit.
Then the antenna must be integrated into the car easily. The distance to the receiver shall be
not too far so that received signals are not extra attenuated before they are used. The
surrounding of the antenna may influence the antenna performance severely. Hence the
materials and distances around the antenna must be considered. As a rule of thumb, a box
of 3 times antenna size around the antenna shall be unobstructed. That means for VHF-
antennas with 75 cm length, this requirement can never be fulfilled on regular cars, but can
be easily achieved with Telephone or GPS-antennas above 1 GHz.
The engine generates spurious noise which can disturb reception, therefore the antenna
shall be placed as far away from the engine as possible, but taking all other requirements
mentioned before into account. So in total there will be a trade-off between height over
ground, omnidirectional reception and reducing spurious emissions influences.
Sometimes the polarization of the antenna is of some importance, as some signals are
transmitted specially polarized, e.g. SDARS is left hand circular polarized.
Summary of requirements for ideal antenna placements
 Antennas must be high above ground and receive from all azimuth directions
 Antennas must be unobstructed, >3*size
 Minimum coupling with other metallic structures or antennas
 Distance to receiver (cable-length) short
 Distance to spurious emissions as large as possible
 Some antenna types require large ground plane, either galvanic connected or coupled
 Polarization of the transmitted service and antenna shall be considered
3. Overview on vehicular antenna placements
Watching different cars on the road in terms on antenna placements, it seems that there are a
number of placements to be found.
Figure 1 displays the best practices to place antennas to vehicles.

Figure 1. Suitable antenna placement on a regular passenger car

Antennas for Automobiles 193
3.1. Roof
Most car manufacturers use the roof to place an antenna. This has an obvious reason, because
the roof of a car is the high above ground and unobstructed. This provides a good reception
into every direction. Mostly, omni directional reception is required anyway, so placing the
antenna on the roof is one of the best options for most of the vehicles, except convertibles.
3.2. Spoiler
Some sportive cars exhibit a spoiler for better down force on higher speeds. When the
spoiler is made of plastic, it can be used to place antennas inside. Racing cars use this
technique for telemetry communication.
Regular hatchback cars can have a little spoiler, in which a number of antennas can be
implemented. This method works exceptionally well and is the second preferred place,
whenever a spoiler is present.
3.3. Screens and windows
Placing antenna structures into windscreens, side windows or rear-windows has become
very popular for premium car manufacturers since 1980. As most cars have glass windows,
to which an antenna structure can be applied, it is a cheap but effective method. Here the
antenna structure can be either on the glass or along the frame. The glass itself is usually big
enough to inherit large antenna structures or many different antennas. On-glass antennas
require a larger engineering effort but can be manufactured with low costs once the
structure is developed. Especially when the design of a car is of importance and roof
antennas would not suite aesthetic aspects, then on-glass antennas is the way forward.
3.4. Fender and bumper
Some of the fenders or bumpers are made of plastic, which suite for placing the antennas
behind as they can offer enough free room. However, special care must be taken for easy
repair, as bumper and fenders can crash. Also take into consideration that engine noise and
low height above ground might degrade antenna performance.
3.5. Trunk cover
Alternatively to the roof, the trunk cover is a suitable position to contain a number of
antennas. Especially for convertible vehicles, where the roof and screens can be hidden, the
trunk cover is advised to place antennas into. However, the trunk cover must be made of
plastic or a double-layer structure with metal frame and plastic cover on top.
3.6. Mirrors
Light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUV) offer huge side mirrors in comparison to
normal cars. The shell of the mirror is mostly plastic. Inside these mirrors a number of

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 194
higher frequency antennas can be placed. Some truck side mirrors are large enough to
inherit a combination of FM-receiving antenna at VHF-band, Telephoning antenna from
GSM and CDMA systems, a GPS navigation antenna and on top a SDARS satellite
broadcasting antenna. Regular vehicle side mirrors can offer some space for higher
frequency services above 1 GHz, e.g. Car-2-Car communication at 5,9 GHz.
3.7. Summary of ideal antenna placements
There are many positions possible to place antennas on a vehicle, but not all are good for
each type of car. For good reception of wireless systems, there are a number of factors to be
As stated in the chapter 2 on general requirements, the antenna must be as high as possible
above ground for long path transmission. The antenna must be unobstructed to
communicate into all directions well.
Combining both prerequisites translates into the rule of thumb, that antennas shall be
operate as freely as possible, which means, the more an antenna packed into a structure, the
less efficient it is.
Some antenna structures are easier to handle even in tight environment and some antenna
technologies are very fragile in terms of antenna characteristics in tight metallic
surroundings. Selecting the appropriate antenna structures helps finding a compromise
between antenna position and performance.
4. Overview on possible antenna technologies
Antennas can be placed on the vehicle on many places, but only a few positions are ideal. To
define which position is ideal, this must be considered for the service and frequency band as
well as in conjunction with selected antenna technology. Here we give a short overview
about the most popular antenna technologies
4.1. Monopoles
Monopole antennas are the most popular antenna type, as they are very easy to handle, easy
to manufacture, easy to implement to the vehicle and very cheap.
A monopole antenna consists of an antenna foot and the rod of some length. Placing the
antenna on the roof of a car requires just a hole in the metallic structure for the antenna foot
and the cable to be attached.
The rod can be a stiff metallic stick of a quarter wavelength (0,25*λ) or longer. There are
rods which are telescopic or even flexible. Monopoles provide a broad range of applications
in every frequency band, from VHF sound broadcasting up to car-2-car communication at
5.9 GHz. The monopole can be placed in the roof center, on an edge of the roof or on the
frame, or even on a bumper or fender. This antenna technology is quickly implemented to

Antennas for Automobiles 195
nearly anywhere on the vehicle. In conjunction with a very competitive pricing due to quick
development and easy manufacturing, monopoles are the first choice in the automotive
The monopole antenna requires a direct connection to ground, meaning the metallic
structure of the vehicle. The monopole will not work efficiently when the metallic ground is
small in comparison to the wavelength λ. Minimum 0,25*λ is required for ground plane to
neglect effects.
However, aesthetically speaking, the rod antenna on a roof or fender does not satisfy
modern design emotions, so car designers try to avoid simple rod antennas on their cars.
Especially for premium car manufacturers, rod antennas are meant to be avoided in modern
car antenna system concepts.
4.2. Patch antenna
In principal, a patch antenna is a flatted monopole. Figure 2 shows the principal structure of
a patch antenna. A metallic plate of about half wavelength (0,5*λ) is placed over a metallic
ground plane, which are separated either by air or a low loss dielectric material. The RF is
ideally fed directly to the radiating patch.
This antenna type is becoming more and more popular in the automotive industry. At first
just for high frequency applications beyond 1 GHz, such as for GPS reception at 1,5 GHz or
SDARS satellite broadcasting radio reception at 2,3 GHz, WLAN and Car2Car
Communication at 5-6 GHz, but nowadays increasingly seen for telephoning antennas for
GSM and CDMA at 800/900 MHz.
As this antenna type is unobtrusively flat and can be implemented into the vehicles
structure, e.g. behind a fender or bumper or in a plastic trunk cover. Patch Antennas require
a large metallic ground structure, preferably flat of minimum 1*λ around the antenna. If the
vehicle cannot fulfil this requirement at the position with its surrounding metallic structure,
then the patch antenna shall provide its own ground plane in the antenna structure.

Figure 2. Principal structure of a squared patch antenna
Feed Point
round Plane >1*λ



New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 196
4.3. On-glass antenna
This antenna type became popular in the premium car industry in the 1980, when design
topics became increasingly important. With on-glass antennas it becomes possible to hide a
number of antennas for the regular user’s eye. As most vehicles have glass windows, an
antenna structure can be implemented there.
The most straight forward antenna technique for on-glass follows a slot antenna principle.
Here the metallic car structure becomes part of the antenna and the glass (windscreen, side
window or rear window for example) is used as the slot in the metallic structure. Coupling
this slot with a thin conductor, the slot resonates and can be used as antenna. The feeding
position is of some importance. With a clever selection of the feeding position, different
modes can be activated, which can help to excite certain polarities or radiation behaviour.
Figure 3 shows the slot antenna principle which explains on-glass antenna function.
As defrosting conductor elements are already placed to the rear window, these conductors
can be applied for such on-glass antenna structures. Here, a simple filter is used to separate
the DC-current for defrosting from the radio frequency (RF).
The development of such on-glass antennas can take some time, as car structure and glass
window holes in the metallic structure are both parts of the antenna jointly, which influence
each other. So changing the shape of the car will change the on-glass antenna characteristics.
But once a suitable structure is found, the manufacturing process is very cheap.

Figure 3. Slot antenna principle for on-glass antennas. Different feed point options are indicated which
excite different modes for special radiation characteristics
4.4. Glued foil antenna
Similar to slot antennas and patch antennas, these structures can be placed on metallic foil,
which is glued to a plastic element.
So very flat antenna structures can be produced, which can be placed into rear-view-
mirrors, side-mirrors, spoilers, bumper and fenders or any non-metallic parts of the vehicle.

Antennas for Automobiles 197
However there are some disadvantages to be mentioned, which are the very narrow usable
bandwidth and the problem to connect coaxial cables to the flat foil antenna. In addition,
moisture and spray water shall be avoided.
The connection problem is often solved by coupling the signal to the structure, but losses
must be taken into account. The structure shape is virtually unlimited so that a huge variety
can be found in books and journals.
Figure 4 shows one example of foil antenna structure.
4.5. Fractal antenna
A very modern field of antenna technology is summarized as fractal antennas. It has been
found that not only some structures repeat their resonance with n*λ, but also when
repeating the structure in itself. This fractal breakdown of a wire structure or a patch
antenna structure leads to multiple resonances of the antenna. When tuning the structure
that many frequency ranges can be used, only one antenna could be used to serve most of
the required services.
As the benefit is that only a few antennas need to be placed, which is good for small cars, the
disadvantage is the very limited usable bandwidth where the structure resonates.
Figure 5 shows an example of a fractal antenna principle.

Figure 4. Thin foil antenna structures on a roll

Figure 5. Sierpinski fractal antenna structure

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 198
5. Selecting antennas according to services
Broadcasting systems reign a long history so backward compability is a major requirement
also for modern cars. Although the number of mobile shortwave listeners is very limited,
each car entertainment system offers shortwave-reception.
Table 1 summarizes the existing broadcasting systems.
5.1. Short- and medium wave bands
Short wave (SW) and medium wave (MW) band provide a worldwide coverage due to
ground wave propagation and wave reflection at ionosphere layers in the atmosphere. As
these layers are approximately 80 km to 300 km high, a large distance can be bridged. For
large-area countries such as Australia, Brazil or Canada just to name a few, a nation-wide
broadcasting coverage can easily be done on MW-bands. From history we adopted AM-
modulated signals with relatively poor sound quality, compared to today’s quality
expectations. Vehicular SW-antennas are difficult to implement, as the car is always too
small even for quarter wavelength antennas. So an electrically shorted monopole must be
used then, which is applied as rod antenna. In some occasions the rear window or a plastic
spoiler can be used.
5.2. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
In order to overcome poor sound problems in SW/MW-bands, transmission became digital.
Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) decodes sound information to a digital data stream which is
modulated with OFDM and broadcasted on SW/MW-bands. The receiver can decode this
data stream and correct transmission errors. The sound quality is intuitively better than
analog broadcasting but coverage is found to be reduced. That is mainly due to the fact that
digital wireless systems have an abrupt go-nogo border, while analog systems degrade
gradually until signals disappear in noise [1].
5.3. VHF-band and UHF-band
Around 1950, VHF-frequency spectrum was utilized in Europe. Radio propagation in 100-
MHz-band can reach approximately 30% beyond the optical horizon, so called radio
horizon. This leads to a limited coverage of sound or TV broadcasting stations. Depending
on transmitter location and radiated transmit power the typical coverage area is about 100
km². For a nation wide broadcasting network, a high number of transmitters must be
installed. Especially in hilly terrain uncovered areas occur due to radio shadows. When
reception is needed there, filling transmitters are needed. On VHF-band (76-109 MHz)
sound broadcasting is transmitted while on UHF-band (400-800 MHz) TV-broadcasting is
located. Typically, a dual layer broadcasting network is rolled out in VHF- and UHF-bands.
The first layer consists of transmitters with high power on prominent locations, covering a
large area. The second layer fills coverage gaps with low-power transmitters.

Antennas for Automobiles 199
As each transmitter requires a separate frequency in order not to interfere with each other,
the dedicated frequency spectrum is quickly used up. Clever frequency allocation and
frequency reuse is needed.
For VHF and UHF a number of antenna techniques can be used. The cheapest version is
using a monopole, but on-glass slot antenna structures offer a very efficient way as well. If
the vehicle has a plastic spoiler or a plastic fender/bumber, it can inherit VHF/UHF
5.4. Digital broadcasting systems
In 1987 development of digital broadcasting systems began and a number of digital
transmission standards derived since then. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), former
Eureka-147 Project, was the start into digital data processing and digital broadcasting
transmission. DAB decodes sound information to a digital data stream which is modulated
with 4-PSK-OFDM and broadcasted on VHF-band. The receiver can decode this data stream
and correct transmission errors. The sound quality is intuitively better than analog
broadcasting. Similar to all other digital wireless systems, DAB reception is experienced
having an abrupt go-nogo border, which is often misunderstood that coverage is smaller
than analog systems [1].
One of the benefits of digital broadcasting system is that more programs can be transmitted
with one frequency allocation. While in analog broadcasting one radio station used one
frequency, now up to 64 radio stations can be received on one single frequency. This offered
new broadcasting capacity for more divert channels covering more genres and clientele.
Another benefit of digital transmission is the higher sound quality.
With better coding capabilities using MP3 and MP4 codecs a more efficient transmission
could be implemented. Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) is using MP4 AAC+ codec
in contrast to DAB, where MUSICAM codec is implemented. For video transmission, Digital
Video Broadcasting (DVB) is used. DVB is similar to DAB and DMB, except that video
signal compression H.264 is added to sound compression algorithms and higher intrinsic
modulation schemes are used, often 16QAM-OFDM. DVB is successively replacing analog
TV-transmitters in Europe.
The placement for DAB antennas shall be properly selected, keeping the spurious emission
noise in mind.
5.5. IBOC system
In USA, another method of digitalization is used. Beside the analog modulated signal, an
additional digital modulated signal with same content is transmitted, so called in-band on
channel (IBOC) signal. Figure 6 displays the spectrum of such an IBOC signal.
Having good reception, the tuner decodes the digital information and provides high-quality
sound. Reaching the go-nogo-border of digital transmission, the tuner switches to

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 200
traditional analog broadcast. The listener may observe a small degradation in sound quality
but is still able to follow the program.
In Europe, IBOC was tested in Switzerland in a range limited test environment [2]. It is
unlikely that IBOC will be introduced in Europe, as VHF-band channel raster of 200 kHz
interferes with US-IBOC channel bandwidth requirements of 400 kHz. To fit into the
existing channel raster, one of the redundant digital sidebands can be removed. This method
is known as FMeXtra and is currently under test in a testbed [3].
For IBOC receiving systems, the selection of suitable antenna structures are identical as
VHF/UHF systems, but due to accompanied digital sidebands, the spurious emission noise
must be considered when placing the antenna, similar to DAB systems.
5.6. Satellite Digital Audio Radio System (SDARS)
For large area countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia or USA, just to name a
few, traditional nationwide terrestrial broadcasting systems are very expensive to install.
Using low orbit satellites offers an efficient nationwide coverage. In USA, Satellite Digital
Audio Radio Systems (SDARS) in 2.3-GHz-band was implemented and succeeded with a
sheer overwhelming number of different programs for all sorts of listeners. Even a monthly
fee could not stop listeners to attend SDARS in USA.
Above 1 GHz there are patch antennas first choice. As GPS and SDARS is transmitted from
satellites high above ground, the antenna shall receive from sky best, which limits the
placements to be 360° unobstructed to sky. Hence the roof and exposed spoilers are suitable
positions, in some occasions mirror housings as well. Convertible cars can utilize the trunk
cover or the upper edges of the fender.

Figure 6. Spectrum of IBOC system with analog and digital modulation containing identical
Digital Digital
-200 -100 0 +100 +200 kHz
IBOC Spectrum
Digital Digital
-200 -100 0 +100 +200 kHz
IBOC Spectrum

Antennas for Automobiles 201
System Name Abbreviation Frequency Band Modulation
Long-Short-Medium Wave LW/MW/SW 172 kHz - 30 MHz Amplitude Modulation AM
Ultra short Wave VHF 76 MHz - 109 MHz Frequency Modulation FM
In-Band On-Channel IBOC 76 MHz - 109 MHz
Quadratur Phase Shift Keying,
Digital Broadcasting System DAB 174 MHz - 210 MHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM
Digital Broadcasting System with
enhanced codec
DAB+ 174 MHz - 210 MHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM
Digital Multimedia Broadcasting DMB 174 MHz - 210 MHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM
terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting DVB-T 480 MHz - 860 MHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM
terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting
with enhanced codec
DVB-T2 480 MHz - 860 MHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM
Satellite Digital Audio Radio System SDARS 2,30 GHz - 2,33 GHz
Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplex, OFDM

Table 1. Overview of broadcasting systems
5.7. Best practices - Where to place antennas for services
When looking at various vehicles on the market, there will be seen a number of antenna
solutions on the vehicle structure. The most popular antenna placement is a monopole rod
antenna on the roof of the car, as this method fulfils the most important basic requirements,
high above ground and unobstructed.
The radiation characteristic is quasi omni directional, when the metallic roof is large enough.
For frequencies >100 MHz, which refers to FM-broadcasting reception, TV-reception and
mobile telephoning systems, monopole antennas on vehicle roof are perfectly suited.
In addition, they are very easy to implement and with about 5 EUR or less per piece very
cheap. These are the reason why the majority of the vehicle manufacturers apply monopole
rod antennas.
Sometimes the car designer does not like antennas on the structure. Then hidden antenna
concepts must be used. A very common way is to place the antennas into a plastic spoiler.
As the spoiler is usually high above ground and unobstructed for good airflow, it fulfils
basic requirements for good reception. Racing cars use the spoiler structure for telemetry
communications. Sometimes regular hatchback cars contain a spoiler, into which VHF-
antennas for sound and TV broadcasting, GPS-antennas and nowadays Car-2-Car
Communication antennas can be easily integrated. Of cause it is also possible to apply
telephoning and satellite broadcasting SDARS antennas into spoiler structures.
When there is no sportive spoiler but the design aspects require invisible antennas, the
antennas can be placed into the screens. Here the slot antenna concept is used, which
requires some development but once the structure is found, it is easy and cheap to
manufacture. Usually the rearwindow is used when the engine is in front, offering the

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 202
maximum distance from spurious emission noise. In rare occasions where the engine is in
the backside of the car, e.g. Porsche 911 model, then the windscreen is used. However, the
antenna structure shall not effect visibility then.
Alternatively sidewindows can be used for antenna structures but often they are too small
for multiple antennas and VHF-antennas.
As foil- and fractal antennas became popular for mobile phone antennas, this concept has
also been applied to the car industry. Today we find fractal foil glued antenna structures in
rearview mirrors, e.g. garage door opener, car entry systems and Bluetooth- / WLAN
antennas, just to name a few.
Light trucks and SUVs comprise some large side mirrors, in which even low frequency
antennas can be placed, such as for FM-reception on VHF bands and mobile telephoning
The only disadvantage is that in a case of an accident with damaging the side mirror, the
wireless service can be damaged as well or reception becomes poor.
In order to avoid a complete loss of service, either both side mirrors can be equipped or a
combination with other antenna locations can be used.
The side effect of this method is that multiple antennas can provide better reception. This
method is known as diversity reception.
6. Diversity - Combating fading
In vehicular receiving environments fading of signals occur due to multipath reception.
When a radio signal is transmitted, it reaches the receiver on a direct path as well as on
reflected paths from buildings, landscape and obstructions, see Figure 7. The reflected paths
reach the receiver at different times than the direct path. This leads to superposition of
multiple signals of the same content. Signals can add or subtract each other at the receiving
zone, leading to a varying loudness impression in amplitude modulated signals and signal
dropouts in frequency modulated signal. In digital systems, bit errors can occur.
A number of methods were invented to reduce the audible effect of multipath fading.
One method is to apply a number of receiving antennas on different positions of the car.
Different antennas at different locations are assumed to receive different signal components.
This effect is known as spatial diversity. A switch selects the best receiving antenna
according to the signal strength and noise level. Figure 8 shows the principle of switching
spatial diversity for VHF-FM reception. Another method is to use both tuners in a dual-
tuner concept which are connected to individual antennas. Due to the different location of
the antennas phase differences occur which are corrected by phase shifters. Then, both
phase corrected receiving signals can be added in-phase and can prevent fading dropouts.
This method is known as phase diversity.

Antennas for Automobiles 203

Figure 7. Principle of multipath environment where transmitter signal is reflected, diffracted and
attenuated by environment. At the receiving zone signal paths are summed.

Figure 8. Principle of switched diversity in modern tuners [1]
In digital broadcasting systems, bit streams can be combined to correct transmission errors.
Here, two receivers operate individually but synchronized by internal clocks. The digital
data streams are compared with each other and bit errors corrected when necessary. The
combined data stream provides a more consistent data rate which results in a better quality
of service for the listener. Figure 9 shows principle bit stream diversity for DAB.
6.1. Best practices - Where to place diversity antennas
When placing diversity antennas, there must be some requirements to be fulfilled.
The main requirement is that antennas used for diversity reception must be mutually
decoupled, meaning that one antenna shall not receive the identical signal than the other,
Receiving zone

) 2 (
i d
v j
e A
 
Multipath Reception
Receiving zone

) 2 (
i d
v j
e A
 
Multipath Reception
1 2 3 4
FM-receiving antennas
RF to
IF from
1 2 3 4
FM-receiving antennas
RF to
IF from

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 204
better to receive a different phase or a different component of the signal. Only then the
fragments can be assembled to a better signal. To achieve this, different antennas shall be
placed at least 3 wavelength apart, so that signal can be received at the different time and
different phase. This method is known as “spatial diversity”. If there is not enough space
for a large gap between antennas, an alternative is to receive different phase components,
which is known as “phase diversity”. In a premium vehicle, diversity reception for FM or
TV is achieved with a combination of phase and spatial diversity. For instance, placing 2
antennas in the rear-window, one is vertically dominated polarized, the other horizontally
dominated polarized. Both rear-window antennas provide good reception, as nearly all
phase components of the multipath signal can be received.
However, having both antennas in the rear of the vehicle, the reception to the front side can
be shadowed. This can be overcome with a third antenna, either a monopole on rooftop or a
structure in the spoiler (if the vehicle has one) or using a structure in the front fender. For
higher frequency ranges, the mirrors can be used, e.g. fractal foil structure glued to the
plastic housing.
Combining rear-window and side-mirror antennas, a fully decoupled but omni directional
reception is achieved where most of the multipath signal components can be processed.

Figure 9. Principle of bit stream combining method for digital broadcasting systems [1]
7. Outlook and future trends
From the performance point of view, a lot can be optimized in the entertainment system in
the future. Especially broadcasting reception is deemed to be improved. Historically, the
tuner was installed in the center console, while the receiving antenna was on the fender. The
cable length was comparably short. A disadvantage of this solution is that engine spurious
emission noise is easily picked up by the antenna and disturbs reception.
1 2
DAB-receiving antennas
Data Stream
1 2
DAB-receiving antennas
Data Stream

Antennas for Automobiles 205
Modern cars however offer a number of receiving antennas for diversity reception in the
rear-window, side-window, bumper and fender for instance, but long cabling ways
attenuate RF signals.
The wide range of broadcasting standards requires multiple tuners buried in the car.
Integration and size reduction is a major playground in R&D departments. Transceivers of
modern mobile phones are approximately 30x30 mm² or less and 3 mm thick, offering multi-
frequency and multi-standard operation already. With SDR-tuners it will become possible in
near future to provide compact multi-standard broadcasting receivers exploiting diversity
gain by MIMO concepts. This allows integrating such receivers into - or at least close to - the
antennas. Reception performance will improve drastically unless EMC problems occur.
Another mega trend of this decade is a permanent internet connection. With UMTS and
WLAN it is already possible to connect laptops and mobile phones to the internet while
riding in car. In near future, the vehicle itself gets connected to the internet. The mobile
phone standard Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) will support this trend. The merge of internet
services and vehicular entertainment functionality will provide efficiency and convenience
to the passengers. The sheer endless list of new service ideas for the drivers and passengers
is overwhelming and becoming unique selling points for car manufactures. They will offer
new services to drivers, from intelligent traffic routing, parking aid to firmware updates
inside the car. Passengers will be able to stream music and videos as well as communicate
while surfing the internet.
In conjunction with passenger entertainment, Car-2-Car Communication systems offer new
information sources for the driver to plan a trip and offers new safety features during the
One of many applications is that traffic flow is constantly monitored by ego-speed history
and current data recognition, which will be broadcasted to other vehicles on the road
nearby. Comparing own speed information and vehicles in front of own position allows a
rolling “look-ahead” traffic situation estimation of the upcoming path. This will help to
adjust driving speed to enable a better traffic flow as well as avoid traffic jams.
Another safety aspect of C2C information exchange is on crossroads. Here a central station
receives signals from vehicles approaching and can guide them through the cross-traffic.
With this, right-of-way accidents can be reduced as well as traffic flow improved.
Author details
Niels Koch
Altran GmbH & Co.KG, Germany
8. References
[1] Koch, N. (2008). Diversity for DAB – Worth the Effort ?, 9th Workshop Digital Broadcasting,
Fraunhofer Institute IIS Erlangen, Germany

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 206
[2] Henk, C.M, Hamelink, S.G (2008). FMeXtra – the Principle and its Application, 9th
Workshop Digital Broadcasting, Fraunhofer Institute IIS Erlangen, Germany
[3] Ruoss, M. (2008). The Digitalization of the FM-Band in Europe, 9th Workshop Digital
Broadcasting, Fraunhofer Institute IIS Erlangen, Germany
Chapter 8
Automotive Networks Based
Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications
Preeti Bajaj and Milind Khanapurkar
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) includes eight wide areas of applications such as
Advanced Traffic Information System, Advanced Traffic Management Systems, Automatic
Vehicle Control System, Commercial Vehicle Operations, Advanced Public Transport
Systems, Emergency, Infotainment Expectations, and Comfort to Drivers and Passengers,
Safety, Electronic Payments etc. Safety, Mobility, Comfort are the three basic reasons for
increasing the involvement of electronics in vehicles and in turn in Intelligent
Transportation system.
Vehicular communication promises traffic management, efficient and easier maintenance,
more fun and infotainment which ultimately lead to safer roads, enhanced comfort for
driver and passengers (Safe Transportation). Categorically the Vehicular Communication
can be classified as
 Vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and Infrastructure to Vehicle (I2V)
In highway engineering, improving the safety of a roadway can enhance overall efficiency.
Vehicle-Infrastructure communication targets improvements in both safety and efficiency. It
is wireless communication catered by Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network, which provides
communication between vehicles and nearby fixed equipments, usually described as
roadside equipments or infrastructure.
 Inter-vehicular (V2V)
Inter Vehicle communication is governed by wireless communication and is catered by
Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETS) and Vehicular Ad-hoc Network (VANETS). A
Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network, or VANET, is a form of Mobile ad-hoc network, to provide
communications among nearby vehicles.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 208
 Intra-Vehicular
Intra-vehicular communication describes as exchange of data within the ECUs of the
vehicle, which are involved in vehicular applications. Major intra-vehicular
communication is of wired type i.e. network based. There are some applications wherein
wireless Intra-vehicular communication is accounted.
2. Automotive networks
One can visualize the complexities involved and the progressive advancements with around
8-10 ECUs in vehicle in early 90’s through around 50 microcontrollers at the beginning of
this decade i.e. 2000, Today, in high-end cars, it is common to have around 100 ECUs
exchanging up to 2500 signals between them. Automotive networks Eliminates Unwieldy
Wiring Harnesses, Increases Vehicle Safety and Reliability, Future expansion easily possible,
Uniformity and Standardization in operations, Fast, Reliable and Efficient Inter-
communication, Organizes the information stream, Assurance of faithful communication.
Some of the Automotive Network Controllers are
 Local Interconnect Network (LIN)
The Local Interconnect network (LIN) is a serial communication protocol suited for networking
sensors, actuators, and other nodes in real-time systems. It is 12 V Single wire, Universal
asynchronous receiver-transmitter (UART), Single-Master, Multiple-Slave (up to 16 nodes), Up
to 20kBits/s data rate automotive network protocol. LIN Bus Application Examples:
 Steering Wheel: Cruise control, Wiper, Turning light, Climate Control
 Seat: Seat Position Motors, Occupant Sensors, Seat Control Switch
 Door: Mirror Switch, Central ECU, Power Window Lift, Door Lock
 Safety and Investigation: Automotive Black Box.
 Controller Area Network (CAN)
The CAN bus is used in vehicles to connect engine control unit and transmission, or to
connect the door locks, climate control, seat control, etc. It is Asynchronous Multi-master
communication protocol serial bus having data rate of up to 1 Mbps. CAN Bus Application
 Safety Power Train: Electronic Parking Brake, Vacuum Leak Detection Automotive
Black Box
 Chassis: Watchdog, Motor Control, Electronic Throttle Control Body Control: Low-
end body controller (Lighting, Network Communication) Power Door, Power
Sunroof, Power Lift Gate
2.1. Flex-Ray network
Flex-ray networking standards work on the principle of TDMA and have Dual-channel
Architecture. It has Host processor which controls the communication process via

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 209
communication controller and bus driver. Each flex ray node has two physical channels A
and B facilitating data rate of up to 10 Mbps through per channel. It can be employed as
network backbone with CAN and LIN. Flex-Ray Network Bus Application Examples:
 Data Backbone: for other buses (LIN, CAN, and MOST)
 Safety-critical Applications: X- by- wire, Automotive Black Box
 Distributed control system Applications: Power Train Applications,
 Châssis applications requiring computations across various ECUs
2.2. Media oriented system transport (MOST)
MOST is a high-speed multimedia network technology usually includes up to 64 MOST
devices having plug n play operations. MOST can operate up to 15 uncompressed stereo
audio channels or up to 15 MPEG1 channels for audio-video communication.
3. Steps to design intra-vehicular communication applications
 Depending upon the type of Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications network
controller & host processor is to be decided.
 The intra-vehicular communication application can be homogenous automotive
controller based or it can be of heterogeneous type
 Design and modification (after testing iterations) of interface Design prototype model
(with suitable modeling tool / language like VHDL, LABVIEW, and MATLAB etc) of
network controllers.
 Downloading the prototype file created with design tool in to suitable programmable
platform (like FPGA, CPLD etc) and result Validation.
 Interfacing with electromechanical systems for simulation of real time data from
sensors, actuators & experimenting for actions.
 Installation and Commissioning
 Testing the designed system in real time environment.
4. Intra-vehicular communication applications
In accordance with the steps mentioned above some of the intra vehicular communication
applications governed categorically by various automotive controllers are listed as follows.
LIN specifications implies that a LIN network can have single master and multiple (up to
16) Slaves. Figure 1 shows RTL view of LIN controller implemented on modelsim tool.
4.1. Master-slave local interconnect network for intra vehicular communication
Figure 2 shows RTL view of the three node LIN network along with FSM and other
components. The three transceivers are connected with the TXD and RXD of the respective
three controllers. The transceivers have lin_bus signal forming LIN bus. The three lin_ bus
signals are interconnected together to form a single wire LIN bus.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 210

Figure 1. Modelsim RTL view of LIN Controller

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 211

Figure 2. RTL view of the three node Local Interconnect Network

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 212
FPGA implemented three node Local interconnect network is used for sensing the steering
wheel angle and controlling two dependent vehicle parameters viz: changing the angle of
front light for better illumination and vision and also informing the driver safe speed limit
on dash board. Figure 3 shows the implementation using FPGA DE1 board of ALTERA. The
data transfer is displayed on display of DE1 board which has LED indication for indicating
active slave node and the data along with id and masking bits are displayed on four seven
segment displays.

Figure 3. Id transfer and Data Transfer for slave 1 and slave 2 from master node

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 213
4.2. CAN for intra vehicular communication (black box) application
The design methodology for black box application using FPGA hosted CAN controller is
shown in figure 4. The digital signal thus derived from output of ADC is given as input to
CAN host FPGA which holds Data frame and directs it to Black box Memory. The black box
will store the frame and will make available as and when required.

Figure 4. Block Diagram of Design Methodology
4.2.1. RTL – Schematic view of CAN host based black box
Prototype CAN is incorporated in designed Black Box application. Figure 5 shows the block
diagram, schematic view of CAN controller used in FPGA based design of Black Box. The
inputs and outputs are as explained above for RTL view and in addition to that Figure 5 also
shows the details of schematic view of Data, Identifier, DLC, etc which constitute CAN
frame. Input to system is output of ADC which is simulated signal of emergency situation in
vehicle and the output is CAN Data frame containing data of parameter which gets stored in
memory for revival and further referral analysis. The other inputs are clk (clock), rst (Reset)
and tx_ctrl (transmission control).
The data frame that is to be transmitted by the CAN-Host will consist of the following fields:
Identifier field, control field, data field and CRC field. The emergency situation in Vehicle
i.e. output of sensor element from the Engine of a car can be simulated using ADC converter
in which the Analog input is varied by potentiometer or the same can be simulated by
operating DIP switches on XILINX FPGA Board. Then according to the input from the
sensor the output of the ADC is needed to be interpreted or calibrated. This digital signal is
given as input to CAN host FPGA which is employed to operate specific application in the
vehicle. The instantaneous CAN Frame of that particular application is hold of and is stored
in memory of intelligent vehicle black box.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 214
The proposed design of black box as shown in figure 6 will record and store the multiple
vehicle parameters through different automotive controllers and their networks hosting on
different FPGAs. The diagram shows the black box memory and data retrieval system to
retrieve data stored in system memory.

Figure 5. Block Diagram and Schematic View of CAN host FPGA based Black Box

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 215

Figure 6. Multi Network Controller based proposed design of black box for multi-parameters

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 216
4.3. Flex-Ray protocol for intra vehicular communication application
Virtual Flex-Ray environment is implemented for intra-vehicular communication applications
using Flex Ray Protocol using LAB-VIEW. The design of various intra-vehicular applications
for Driver and Passenger Doors, AC Control, Oil Temperature Control and External Weather
sensing and controlling the activities inside vehicle has been implemented using flex-Ray
utilities of LABVIEW platform. The algorithmic sequence of operation is as follows:
 Status of input is pre-setted as true and false for respective vehicle parameter thus tool
forms flex-Ray frame for both the conditions of particular vehicle parameter.
 The parameter status is chosen as true or false which goes as input to module designed.
 Module passes the parameter to evaluator and decides output controller action.
 The output is the action taken by flex-Ray controller is displayed along with flexRay
output graphic frame.
Figure 7, Figure 8, Figure 9 and Figure 10 shows the designed modules for intra-vehicular
communication applications like four doors, AC, Oil Temperature and Weather Conditions.

Figure 7. Door Module

Figure 8. Air Conditioner Module.

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 217

Figure 9. Oil Temperature Module

Figure 10. Weather Condition Module
Figure 11 shows design for External weather sensing module. With external weather condition
input as rainy to module, the module evaluates the condition and provides the flex-Ray frame
for weather condition as true and the output action is taken to turn on the wiper.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 218

Figure 11. External Weather Sensing Module (input as rainy weather condition)
Figure 12 shows External weather sensing module with external weather condition input as
hot, the module evaluates the condition and provides the flex-Ray frame for weather
condition as false and the output action is taken to turn on the AC.

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 219

Figure 12. External Weather Sensing Module (input as hot weather condition)
Figure 13 shows results of the designed applications with the possible input conditions and
explains the remedial controlling action taken by flex-ray controller on LABVIEW
simulation platform.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 220

Figure 13. Results for vehicle parameters for Flex-Ray based Design

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 221
4.4. SDSCS – AFS Interfacing: Intra-vehicular communication application
The most Versatile Intra-vehicular Communication Application using Automotive Network
Controller is Automotive Black-Box. The design approach and implementation of
automotive black box is described and discussed below. Automotive Black box is referred to
storing of vehicle data at the time of accident and retrieving same for investigation purpose.
The main problem while designing of Black Box is deciding the incidence at which vehicle
met with accident. The
Figure 14 shows the block diagram of prototype of System for Detecting Sudden Change in
Speed (hence accident instance) (SDSCS) of Vehicle for Accident simulation and its
interfacing to Adaptive Front Light System (AFS).

Figure 14. Block Diagram of prototype of SDSCS – AFS Interfacing
Figure 15 shows the details of hardware of the developed prototype. The assembly provides
the mechanism for simulation of vehicle speed in form of motor coupled with regulator and
breaking –accelerator facility as shown in figure. This motor is in close vicinity of proximity
sensor which senses the speed and the same is coupled to controller which calculates the
difference at smallest possible interval, thus simulating the accident situation in the vehicle.
AFS- Adaptive Front Lighting System, the name suggests that it is front lighting system of
an automobile which will adapt itself according to the need of the curvature of the road.
Once the instance of sudden change in speed of vehicle (instance of accident) is confirmed
then the information regarding various activities of vehicle (Vehicle Parameters) can be
passed on through automotive controller based system which will take care of recording
and storing the vehicle parameters. Intra-Vehicular communication is established between

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 222
AFS - SDSCS. The real time steering angle and the real time position of the front lights is
available in electrical signal form in AFS. These two real-time output parameters are
supplied as real-time inputs to System for Detecting Sudden Change in Speed of Vehicle for
accident simulation (SDSCS) for storing purpose.

Figure 15. AFS-SDSCS Interfacing
To make the simultaneous movement of the front light in the horizontal plane according to the
movement of steering shaft, it needs some range on the movement of the front light. Mainly,
the lights should turn to some specific angle and then it should stop moving. As the vehicle
takes the steep turn on a road, the direction of the front light should move, if it takes more
sharp turn, the front light should rotate deeper in the same direction as that of the steering
movement. If in case, the vehicle takes a sudden ‘U’ turn, the lights should not move directly
in the opposite direction, but should be at the extreme of the specified direction.

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 223
When steering angle 130
the direction of the light system is in the front position as if the
vehicle is moving in a straight direction. If Vehicle moves slightly towards the right
direction on the curve, the lights system will also move directly from 130
to 135
. If the
vehicle takes sharper turn towards the right, let’s say from

to 145
, the lights will also
move in the same direction (extreme right). When the vehicle continues to moves on
straight track, the lights will also move in opposite direction from 145
to 135
and from
to 130
Range of steering Angle / Variables X1 X2 X3 X4
< _ < 135
0 0 0 0
< _ < 145
0 0 1 0
< _ 0 0 1 1
< _ < 145
0 0 1 0
< _ < 135
0 0 0 0
Table 1. Right Movement of AFS
The same logic has been applied for the left direction movement of the lights system. If the
car slightly turns towards the left direction, the light slightly towards the left direction i.e.
from 130
to 125
. if the vehicle takes sharper turn towards the left, accordingly the lights
will also move deeper i.e. from 125
to 115
and if again it moves to the straight direction
from the extreme left, it will also make the simultaneous movements from 115
to 125
from 125
to 130

Range of steering Angle / Variables X1 X2 X3 X4
< _ < 125
1 0 0 0
_ < 115
1 1 0 0
< _ < 125
1 0 0 0
< _ < 135 0 0 0 0
< _ < 125
1 0 0 0
Table 2. Left Movement of AFS

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 224
 Movement of Front Lights in AFS for different steering positions
 CASE I: Figure 16 shows position of steering angle is in between 125
to 135
there will
no inclination of lights, the light will be in the neutral direction and the direction of
light will be in the front direction.

Range of
steering Angle

Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
< _ < 135
0 0 0 0

Figure 16. AFS (Case I)
 CASE II: Figure 17 shows the light position for right turn. If the vehicle takes right turn
and the steering angle is in range of 135 to 145 then the AFS makes lights to move in

Range of
steering Angle
Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
< _ < 145
0 0 1 0

Figure 17. AFS (Case II)

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 225
 CASE III: If the steering angle goes beyond 145 degrees for sharper right turns, Figure 18
shows the logic generated for AFS and the lights will be moved in rightmost.

Range of

Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
< _ 0 0 1 1

Figure 18. AFS (Case III)
CASE IV: Case III is the rightmost position for lightening system and the lights will again
turn back to its original condition, similarly the rotations will take place in the left direction
and the same condition will be achieved as in figure 19.

Range of
steering Angle
Over1 Over2 Over3

< _ < 145
0 0 1 0

Figure 19. AFS (Case IV)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 226
 CASE V: The lights will come back to centre position as in Figure 20.

Range of
steering Angle

Over1 Over2 Over3

< _ < 135
0 0 0 0

Figure 20. AFS (Case V)
 CASE VI: If the steering moves in the left direction AFS will move the light towards the
left direction, the logic will change as shown in figure 21.

Range of

Over1 Over2 Over3

< _ < 125
1 0 0 0

Figure 21. AFS (Case VI)

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 227
 CASE VII: Figure 22 shows the left most condition and the vehicle lights will be moved
towards extreme left direction.

Range of

Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
_ < 115 1 1 0 0

Figure 22. AFS (Case VII)
 CASE VIII : Above mentioned was for left most direction now similarly the rotations
will take place in the back to the right direction and the same condition will be achieved
as it was achieved earlier as in figure 23

Range of
steering Angle
Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
115 < _ < 125 1 0 0 0

Figure 23. AFS (Case VIII)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 228
 CASE IX: The logic will change to shift the lights to bring them to straight position as
shown in figure 24.
Range of
steering Angle
Over1 Over2 Over3 Over4
< _ < 135
0 0 0 0
Figure 24. AFS (Case IX)
Following result windows shows the real time clock for data recording, the set threshold
value for deciding the change of sudden change of speed. It also shows the condition of
locking. Through menu driven the value of threshold can be altered, re-setted and brakes
can be applied for Electro-Mechanical assembly (as explained above). Every time the back
history of the data is also recorded. This back history (pre-accident history) can be helpful
for post accident analysis.
The parameters recorded and displayed are off line or virtual (i.e. programmable) are status
of Wiper, Doors, Air Bags, Seat Belts, Fog Lamps, Side Indicator, Head Lights. In addition to
these virtual programmable parameters two real time parameters are also recorded. These
parameters are derived from Adaptive Front Light System (AFS) i.e. Range of Steering
Angle and The positions of Head lights at the time of data recording. Figure 25 shows data
non blocked state of the system.

Figure 25. AFS-SDSCS Data not Locked

Automotive Networks Based Intra-Vehicular Communication Applications 229

Figure 26. AFS-SDSCS Data Locked and Recorded
Figure 26 shows the blocking state of the system wherein the data is recorded for sudden
change of speed that may lead for the unfortunate incident i.e. accident with the vehicle for
three sets of virtual and real time parameters.
4.5. Conclusion
The chapter explains various intra-vehicular communication applications implemented
through vehicular network controllers such as LIN, CAN, Flex-ray on tools like Modelsim,
Xilinx, and Lab View and also some applications are implemented by hardware designing
and development. The Applications such as black box, various parameters sensing and
controlling respective corresponding actions are implemented and are presented in the
chapter. Designed application systems are developed on simulation tools and also prototype
is implemented and tested successfully with satisfactory results.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 230
Author details
Preeti Bajaj
Department of Electronics Engineering, India
G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering Nagpur (M.S.), India
Milind Khanapurkar
Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, India
G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering Nagpur (M.S.), India
5. References
[1] Multiplexed Networks for Embedded Systems CAN, LIN, FlexRay and Safe-by-Wire.
Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
[2] FlexRay Communications System - Bus Guardian Specification, v2.0, FlexRay
Consortium, June 2004.
[3] LIN Specification Package – revision 2.0 –
[4] CAN Specification, BOSCH GmbE 1991.
[5] FlexRay Communications System – Electrical Physical Layer Specification, v2.0, FlexRay
Consortium, June 2004.
[6] Publications by Automotive Network Controllers Consortiums
Chapter 0
A Road Ice Sensor
Amedeo Troiano, Eros Pasero and Luca Mesin
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
The investigation of ice formation found important applications in many different fields. For
instance, the accretion of ice is a common occurrence on the aircraft, due to the high velocity
and humidity, and low temperature at upper air. The detection of ice formation on aircrafts is
a critical issue since not only the aerodynamics change, but there is also the possibility of ice
liberation from the aircraft during the flight, and falling ice could strike and possibly damage
the engine [23]. Another applications of the investigation of ice formation are on the seas,
in order to prevent iceberg formation and possible accident due to the crash with boats [39].
An adequate assessment of the environmental conditions of road surfaces may significantly
contribute to enhance traffic safety, since corresponding decision made by administrators
should be based on this information [18]. An important application of the investigation of
ice formation is on the runway of airports, in order to improve safety during take off and
landing of the aircrafts. Moreover, a correct estimation of the environmental condition of road
and runway surfaces can be useful to reduce costs due to de-icing systems and ice control [27].
Finally, an indication of the environmental condition of the pavements could be adopted on
the walkways, to prevent people falls.
2. State of the art
The problem of ice detection is not a new one: over the time, several solutions have been
proposed depending on the application [9]. The proposed solutions can be divided into two
families: detection of ice based on optical methods and using physical sensors.
Optical methods are indirect techniques that detect icy conditions applying image-processing
algorithms to the images acquired by different systems. Wide-area ice detection can be
obtained processing images by weather satellites [17, 26, 37], which are used to monitor
the climate of the Earth. Weather satellites can be either polar orbiting, seeing the same
swath of the Earth, or geostationary, hovering over the same spot on Earth by orbiting
over the equator while moving at the speed of the Earth’s rotation. One of the most used
optical method is based on Time-Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technique [4, 32]. TDR is
Chapter 9
2 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
a measurement technique commonly used to determine characteristics of electrical lines by
observing reflected waveforms. The time-domain reflectometry technique can also be used
for detection of ice and water on the road, based on the principle that the propagation velocity
of an electromagnetic wave in a transmission line depends on the relative permittivity of the
material; and the relative permittivity, in turn, depends on the water or ice content of the
medium. Ice detection can be also obtained using microwave systems [6]. A MicroWave
Radiometer (MWR) is a system that measures energy emitted at sub-millimetre to centimetre
wavelengths (at frequencies of 1-1000GHz), known as microwaves. Studying the physical
processes associated with the energy emission at these wavelengths, it is possible to estimate
a variety of surface and atmospheric parameters, including air and sea surface temperature,
salinity of sea ice, precipitations, and sea ice. River and sea ice can be detected applying
specific algorithms to the data collected by acoustic Doppler current meters [11]. These
instruments are designed for monitoring water level, velocity, and flow of rivers and seas.
Since the velocity distribution of water changes significantly when ice is present, specific
algorithms can be developed to determine the presence of ice in rivers or seas. Ocean ice can be
detected processing the images obtained by MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
(MODIS) [22, 39]. MODISs are instruments launched into Earth orbit by NASA in 1999
on board of satellites. MODIS captures images of the entire Earth using spectral bands
ranging in wavelength from 0.4μm to 14.4μm, at different spatial resolutions. The last optical
method used for the detection of ice is based on ultrasonic waveguides [3, 7, 16], that are
structures which guide waves, such as electromagnetic or sound. Ultrasonic guided waves
can recognizes water or ice since the amplitude of the A0 mode Lamb wave is influenced by
water loading and ice formation on the surface of the aluminum plate of the waveguide.
In order to detect ice directly, physical sensors are used. An ice detection system based on a
physical sensor can be obtained using micro-fabricated diaphragms as sensing elements [29].
Accumulation of ice on a diaphragm leads to an increase in its effective stiffness. The sensor
is composed by a diaphragm, which is the sensing element and is electrically isolated, and an
electrode. When a voltage is applied between the diaphragm and the electrode, an attractive
electrostatic force will cause the diaphragm to deform toward the electrode, increasing the
capacitance between the electrode and the diaphragm. For a given actuation voltage, it was
shown that an ice-covered diaphragm exhibits a smaller deflection than a corresponding
ice-free diaphragm. Another kind of ice detection system designed for aircrafts is obtained
using fiber optics [12, 13, 20, 21]. When there is no ice accretion on the probe surface, the light
from the emitter propagates through the source fiber bundle into the air, and no signal can
be detected by the destination fiber bundle. When there is ice accreting on the probe, light
entering the volume of ice is in part transmitted and in part reflected into the destination fiber
bundle, which couples with the detector that determines the thickness of ice depending on
the light intensity distribution. Physical sensor for ice detection system can also be based on
resonant piezoelectrics [30]. Resonant structures are commonly used in sensor systems due
to their high sensitivities to small variations in applied loads. Ice detection systems based on
resonant sensors are based on the principle that accretion of ice on a cylindrical probe leads
to a decrease in the measured resonant frequency, due to the increase in effective mass of
the resonator. In such mass-loaded resonant ice detection sensor, variations in probe design
are usually restricted to favor ice accretion and minimize resonant frequency shifts due to
accumulation of water and other fluids.
232 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 3
3. The ice detection system
The previously described methods do not fit the requirements for a direct detection of ice in
the road or in the runway surfaces. For example, optical methods cannot be used for this
application because they are indirect techniques. Moreover, resonant probes are too power
consuming and optical fibers are too expensive for the development of this sensor. Since
the sensor should be embedded in the road or in the runway, it has to resist on the pressure of
trucks or airplanes, or also possible chemical substances present on the road or on the runway,
so diaphragms cannot be used for the presented application. For these reasons, an innovative
sensor for water and ice detection was designed.
The ice detection system consists of a relative permittivity measurement [25, 33–36]. In
general, permittivity is defined as a measure of howan electric field affects and is affected by a
dielectric medium, and is determined by the ability of a material to polarize in response to the
field, and thereby to reduce the total electric field inside the material. The relative permittivity
(also called dielectric constant) is the ratio of the amount of stored electrical energy when
a potential is applied, relative to the permittivity of the vacuum. The relative permittivity
depends on temperature and measurement frequency. The relation between the relative
permittivities of water and ice, and the temperature and measurement frequency, is shown
in Figure 1 [5, 31, 38] (note the different scales of the frequency axes). It can be seen that the
relative permittivity of ice at approximately -1

C is substantially constant within a range from
DCto about 1kHz, and decreases in the range of approximately 2kHz to several hundred kHz.
On the other hand, the relative permittivity of water at approximately 1

C is substantially
constant up to approximately 10
Hz and decreases within the range from 10
Hz to 10
The relative permittivity of air can be assumed to be equal to 1 and constant for each frequency
and temperature. Therefore, at low frequencies the relative permittivities of water and ice are
similar, while the relative permittivity of air is different from the others. Instead, at high
frequencies the relative permittivities of air and ice are similar, while the relative permittivity
of water is different fromthe others [25, 33–36]. So, estimating the relative permittivity, it is not
possible to distinguish reliably water and ice at low frequencies (lower than 1kHz), but only
air can be identified; on the other hand, ice and air cannot be distinguished at high frequencies
(between 10kHz and 1GHz), but it is possible to identify only the presence of water. Thus, for
an exact classification of the material placed over the sensor, distinguishing among ice, water,
or air, it is necessary to estimate the relative permittivity of the material on the surface of the
sensor at two frequencies (low and high frequency).
The relative permittivity can be sensed by a capacitance measurement. In general, the
capacitance value of an electrode assembly depends on the geometrical configuration and
dimensions of the surfaces of the electrodes, and on the permittivity and thickness of the
material placed between the electrodes. The device consists in a multi-frequency capacitance
measurement. As low measurement frequency 200Hz was considered; while 20MHz was
chosen as high measurement frequency. The sensor includes a pair of concentric conductive
electrodes (with geometry and dimensions shown in Figure 2). Such electrode geometry
was chosen since the capacitance measurement is invariant to the rotations of the electrode
assembly and to the position of raindrops or pieces of ice with respect to the electrodes.
The pair of concentric ring conductive electrodes, which are the sensing device, was directly
implemented on a PCB, as showed in Figure 2. The external maximum ring dimension was
imposed by the box which includes the sensor, while the external minimum ring and internal
circle dimensions were choosen in order to explore a largest area between the two electrodes,
233 A Road Ice Sensor
4 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
Figure 1. Representation of the relative permittivity of water and ice at different frequencies and
but still large enough to get a measurable value of capacitance. The capacitance value of the
pair of concentric ring conductive electrodes was measured using a high resolution RCL meter
(Fluke - PM 6306). The capacitance value was in the order of 0.3pF.
Figure 2. Representation of the pair of concentric ring conductive electrodes. A) Top view of the
electrode assembly. B) Geometry of the electrode assembly.
The sensor electrodes of the ice detector are directly connected to a capacitance measurement
system, which is a transfer charge circuit. In general, the transfer charge circuit includes a
sensing capacitor, a frequency generator, and a charge detector. The schematic layout of
the capacitive measurement circuit is shown in Figure 3. The sensing capacitor is obtained
by the pair of concentric conductive electrodes and the material placed over the electrodes,
and it is indicated in the Figure as C
. The frequency generator is obtained by a reference
voltage source V
and a controllable switch S
to provide different frequencies. In the basic
measurement circuit, the charge detector comprises only a reference capacitance C
that is
connected to C
by closing the switch S
. Note that S
opens when S
is closed, and viceversa.
The charge Q
stored in the electrode assembly is:
= C
· V
234 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 5
Figure 3. Schematic layout of the transfer charge circuit
When the switch S
is closed, the charge stored in the electrode assembly is transferred to the
detection capacitance:
= (C
+ C
) · V
Since the value of the sensor electrode is several orders of magnitude lower than C
, nearly
all charge stored in C
is transferred to the detection capacitance:
= C
· V
= C
· V
and therefore, measuring the voltage level V
reached by the detection capacitance, the
capacitor value of the electrode assembly can be computed as:
= C
In order to increase accuracy in measuring the very small value of the capacitance C
, the
sensor was charged n times and its charge was transferred n times to the reference capacitor
before taking a measurement of V
. Therefore the value of the capacitance of the electrode
assembly is given by:
At the end of the measurement process, C
is discharged by closing the switch S
. In the
currently available ice sensor, the reference voltage V
was equal to 3V (tolerance of 0.2%),
the value of the reference capacitance C
was equal to 2.2nF (tolerance equal to 1%), and the
number of times in which the reference capacitor was charged before taking a measurement
(n) was 50. The voltage V
was first amplified by a factor 150 by an analog circuit and
then sampled by the analog to digital converter (10 bit resolution) of a microcontroller (8051
microcontroller from Silicon Laboratories Inc). The microcontroller is also used to drive the
switches S
, S
, and S
. These operations are performed for both measurement frequency
in sequence, low and high frequencies, using a sampling frequency of 0.2Hz. The transfer
charge circuit is implemented on a PCB using commercially available low power and low cost
components. The PCBs of the electrodes arrangement and of the transfer charge circuit are
directly connected together.
As it stated above, the value of capacitance of the electrode assembly (without water or ice
placed over it) is about 0.3pF. However, parasitic capacitances of wires and electronic circuits
are, in general, on the order of several pF. Therefore, the value of parasitic capacitances is
bigger than that of the unknown capacitance, and consequently it is not possible to estimate
235 A Road Ice Sensor
6 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
the capacitance of the electrode assembly using the previously described circuit. In order to
prevent error in the data due to parasitic capacitances, a differential capacitance measurement
circuit was used. Parasitic capacitances are first estimated in a preliminary calibration phase,
performed in laboratory, measuring the capacitance of the sensor without placing water
or ice over the electrode assembly, and the measured value is stored in the flash memory
of the microcontroller. This value results from the combination of the capacitance of the
dry electrode assembly and the parasitic capacitances. Then, during the measurement, the
obtained value of V
is subtracted by the calibration value in order to remove the contribution
of parasitic capacitances (also the value of the dry electrode assembly is removed). The
calibration value stored in the flash memory of the microcontroller, which is subtracted to
the measured value, is obtained by the digital to analog converter (10 bit resolution) of the
microcontroller. A schematic layout of the differential capacitance measurement circuit is
shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Schematic layout of the differential capacitance measurement circuit.
The device also comprises a temperature sensor, to account for the variation of the relative
permittivity with temperature. The temperature obtained by the sensor is sampled by
the analog to digital converter (10 bit resolution) of the microcontroller, using a sampling
frequency of 0.2Hz.
The ice detection system arrangement (circuit and electrode assembly) was included in a
metallic box filled with resin, which protects the circuitry frominfiltration of water or chemical
agents. The only exposed parts are the Arnite covering the sensor (on the top) and the
connector for the power supply and the RS 485 communication protocol (on the bottom).
Arnite (Polyethylene Terephthalate) was chosen for protection purposes since its relative
permittivity is nearly constant within the range of temperatures and measurement frequencies
in which the sensor is used. Moreover, it has a high value of hardness to steel ball (180
and resistance to traction (255
). A layer 3 mm thick of Arnite was mounted over the
electrode assembly. The final prototype of the ice detection system is shown in Figure 5.
4. Mathematical model of the sensor
A mathematical model of the sensor was designed. The sensor was described using a
multilayer electrostatic model [15]. Indeed, at the maximum measurement frequency the
wave length of the electromagnetic field is more than two orders of magnitude greater than
the dimensions of the sensor. Three layers were included: dielectric (the Arnite protecting the
236 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 7
Figure 5. Picture of the final prototype of the ice detection system.
sensor) covering the electrodes (z
), air or water or ice placed over the sensor (z
), and air
), as showed in Figure 6 (z
indicates the thickness of each layer). Each layer was assumed
to be homogeneous, isotropic, of constant thickness, and with a constant value of relative
permittivity (ε
). These three layers were positioned over the concentric circular electrode
arrangement constituted by a circular electrode of radius 3.5mm (r
) and a ring electrode with
external radius of 18mm (r
) and an internal one of 16mm (r
Figure 6. Representation of the three layers model of the sensor.
For the first layer, the Arnite, a constant value of relative permittivity ε
was assumed, equal
to 3.5. For the second layer, the relative permittivity of water, ice, or air was modelled. The
relative permittivity of water ε
was modelled as [24]:
= ε

1 + j

1 + j
where all parameters (static permittivity ε
, high frequency permittivity ε

, intermediate
frequency permittivity ε
, and relaxation frequencies f
and f
) are functions of temperature.
237 A Road Ice Sensor
8 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
The relative permittivity of ice (again indicated with ε
) was modelled as a Debye model [8]:
= ε


1 + j2πτ f
in which the static permittivity ε
was 75, the high frequency permittivity ε

was 3.2, and
the relaxation time τ was dependent on temperature, assuming a linear variation between the
values 1.4 · 10
at -20

C and 2.5 · 10
at 0

C [28]. The relative permittivity ε
of the third
layer, the air, was assumed constant and equal to 1.
The mathematical model of the sensor is an electrostatic equation for dielectrics. Gauss’s law
for dielectrics [15], is considered:
−∇· (ε∇φ) = 0 (8)
where φ is the potential (V) and ε the relative permittivity (F/m). Since the mathematical
model is constituted by three layers, the electrostatic equation for dielectrics was studied in
different sub-domains in which Laplace equation Δφ = 0 was solved (with Δ = ∇
). Each
sub-domain indicates a layer. Such sub-domains were coupled by the interface conditions
between two layers requiring that the potential and the dielectric displacement

D = ε∇φ
were continuous crossing the interface.
As the electrodes are circular (see Figure 6), the problem was considered symmetrical in
cylindrical coordinates (ρ, θ, z). A mixed boundary value problem was studied, imposing
opposite value of potential (indicated as V
in Figure 6) on the two electrodes and vanishing
dielectric displacement on the other part of the boundary. Due to the cylindrical symmetry of
the problem, the potential does not depend on the angle θ, but only on the radius ρ and on the
depth within the layers z. The problem can be stated as follows:



= 0 ρ > 0, 0 < z < z


= 0 ρ > 0, z
< z < z
+ z


= 0 ρ > 0, z
+ z
< z < z
+ z
+ z
= φ
ρ > 0, z = z
= φ
ρ > 0, z = z
+ z
= ε
ρ > 0, z = z
= ε
ρ > 0, z = z
+ z
φ = V
j2πf t
ρ ≤ ρ
, z = 0
φ = −V
j2πf t
≤ ρ ≤ ρ
, z = 0
= 0 ρ = 0
= 0 ρ
< ρ < ρ
∪ ρ > ρ
, z = 0
= 0 z = z
+ z
+ z
where ρ
is the radius of the internal electrode, ρ
and ρ
are the internal and external
radiuses defining the ring shape electrode, and z
, z
and z
are the thicknesses of the layers.
The estimated capacitance is a monotonic increasing function of the thickness of the third layer
(air), but saturates within a few simulated mm of air; thus, the simulated thickness of air was
chosen to be 25mm, assuring that the capacitance curve saturates.
238 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 9
In order to solve the mathematical problem, the domain should be limited. The domain
was limited imposing a maximum radius of 30mm where homogeneous Neumann boundary
= 0 were assumed. The mathematical problem was solved using the
finite difference method, which is a numerical method for approximating the solutions of
differential equations using finite difference approximation of derivatives [19]. Anon-uniform
discretization of the domain was used, with increasing resolution close to the electrodes and to
the interfaces. Specifically, the sampling step of the radius Δρ was 1% of the maximum radius
(30mm) close to the electrodes and 3% of the maximum radius otherwise. The discretization
step of the depth variable Δz was 1%of the sumof the thickness of the three layers z
close to the electrode surface z = 0 and to the interfaces z = z
and z = z
, and 3%of the before
indicated sum otherwise.
First and second order derivatives were discretized, using the finite difference method, with
a second order approximation, both within the domain and on the boundary:


= au(x
) + bu(x
+ h
) + cu(x
+ h
where a = −
, b = −
, c =



= au(x
) + bu(x
+ h
) + cu(x
+ h
where a =
, b =
, c = −
where h
and h
have the same sign when the considered point x
is on the boundary and
different signs when x
is within the domain. A linear system of algebraic equations was
obtained after discretization. The potential was estimated resolving such a system using
Gauss elimination method. Given the potential, the charge q over the internal electrode (which
is the same except for the sign as that over the external ring electrode) was estimated, using
the integral form of Gauss’s law [15], as:
q =

, z=0

D· ˆ ndS

= 2πε

dr (11)
Finally, the capacitance value was obtained as [15]:
C =
The mathematical model of the sensor was validated using both analytical and experimental
data [36]. Validation based on analytical data was obtained changing the boundary conditions
of the model, allowing the simulation of a capacitor with parallel planar plates with a layer
of dielectric covering the plates. The relative error between the analytical and simulated
solutions was lower than 1.5%. Validation based on experimental data was performed
simulating the dry sensor, in which a capacitance value of about 0.3pF was obtained. This
is the capacitance value of the dry electrode arrangement, which was measured using a
high resolution RCL meter (Fluke - PM 6306), indicating a capacitance value of about 0.3pF.
Moreover, simulated and experimental values of capacitance were compared for different
temperatures and frequencies, and placing water or ice over the sensor. Results shown a
relative error between the experimental and simulated solutions lower than 2%.
239 A Road Ice Sensor
10 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
5. Results
5.1. Laboratory results
The reliability of the estimates provided by the sensor was investigated during laboratory
experiments. Laboratory tests were performed applying the same environmental conditions
to more sensors and evaluating the dispersion of the time instants in which phase changes
of water were detected. Nine sensors were placed at the same time in a climatic chamber
(Angelantoni - Challenge 250; temperature range for climatic test from -40

C to +180

C). At
the beginning of the experiment, the climatic chamber was set to ambient conditions, with a
temperature of 25

C and humidity of 50%, for approximately 10 minutes in order to adjust
the parameters of the sensor. Then, 1 mm of tap water was placed over each sensor. Sensors
were left in ambient conditions for 10 minutes. Then, the climatic chamber was arranged to
reach -20

C with a temperature gradient of -1

C per minute. During this period, water placed
over sensors frozes. The climatic chamber kept the temperature of -20

C for approximately
10 minutes and then it was arranged to reach 25

C with a temperature gradient of 1

C per
minute. During this period, the ice formed over the sensors melts. The climatic chamber kept
the temperature of 25

C for approximately 10 minutes. Then each sensor was dried. Data
were acquired for additional 10 minutes, with a temperature of 25

C and humidity of 50%.
The experiment was repeated in three different days, in order to investigate the repeatability
of the capacitance values and the reliability of the estimates provided by the algorithm.
During the experiments, values of capacitance at different measurement frequencies (200Hz,
500Hz, and 20MHz) were continuously acquired. In Figure 7 the data acquired and processed
from the sensor eight during the first experiment are shown. In detail, Figure 7A shows
the capacitance values (raw data) at different measurement frequencies. Variations of the
values of capacitance in different states of the sensors are visible. During the dry state, values
of capacitance (at both low, medium, and high frequencies) were close to zero, due to the
calibration procedure. During the wet state, the values of capacitance at high, medium, and
low frequency were close to 0.3pF, so there is no distinction between different measurement
frequencies (since the relative permittivity of water is constant at both low, medium, and
high frequencies). However, during the icy state, the values of capacitance at high frequency
are close to 0.15pF while at medium and low frequency are close to 0.3pF (since the relative
permittivity of ice is different at both low and medium frequencies with respect to that at high
frequency), so the value of capacitance can be easily distincted for different measurement
frequencies. Moreover, there are no differences between values of capacitance obtained for
low and medium frequencies. Low pass (cut-off frequency of 0.002Hz, 100
order causal FIR
filter) filtered values of capacitance are shown in Figure 7B. It can be seen that high frequency
variations and instrumentation noise are not present in the filtered capacitance values.
First-order derivative of the filtered values of capacitance are shown in Figure 7C (below).
Peaks are visible near the variation of the state of the sensor. During the state transition
from dry to wet, a concurrent positive jump at high and low (and medium) measurement
frequencies is visible. A negative jump at high measurement frequency and no jump at low
(and medium) measurement frequency indicate the state transition from wet to icy. During
the state transition from icy to wet, a positive jump at high measurement frequency and no
jump at low (and medium) measurement frequency are visible. Finally, a concurrent negative
jump at high and low (and medium) measurement frequencies indicates the state transition
from wet to dry. In order to discriminate between different states of the sensor surface (dry,
wet, or icy), an algorithm was implemented based on the jumps on the first-order derivative
240 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 11
Figure 7. Signal processing algorithm applied to experimental data. A) Capacitance’s values (raw data)
obtained for the sensor eigth during the first experiment at different measurement frequencies. B) Low
pass filtered values of capacitance obtained from the raw data. C) States of the sensor revealed by the
algorithm (above). First-order derivative of capacitance values obtained from the low pass filtered data
of the values of capacitance estimated at the low and high measurement frequencies. A
jump was considered significant if the first-order derivative of the capacitance was higher
than a threshold value estimated during the calibration. States of the sensor revealed by the
algorithm are shown in Figure 7C (above). The estimated states agreed with the observed
state of the sensor, showed in Figure 7A.
The reliability of the estimates provided by the sensor was investigated during laboratory
experiments. Nine ice sensors were placed at the same time in a climatic chamber and the
experiment descript above was performed, and the dispersion of the time instants in which
phase changes of water were detected. Capacitance values (raw data) at two frequencies (low
and high measurement frequencies) obtained for each sensor during the first experiment are
shown in Figure 8A (medium measurement frequency is not reported since its capacitance
values are very similar to that obtained at low measurement frequency). There are no
difference between the capacitance values obtained at low and high measurement frequencies
during the dry and wet states for different sensors; however, during the icy state there are a
clear distinction. The capacitance values obtained in the icy state for different sensors are not
the same due to manufacturing tolerances and low precision in controlling the thickness of
water placed over the sensor. In Figure 8B, the internal temperature of the climatic chamber
241 A Road Ice Sensor
12 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
Figure 8. Statistical analysis of laboratory data. A) Values of capacitance (raw data) obtained for each
sensor during the experiment. B) Internal temperature of the climatic chamber during the experiment.
C) Time instants of state transitions estimated for each sensor during three experiments. D) Standard
deviations of time instants of state transitions wet-icy and icy-wet estimated for each sensor during three
during the experiment is shown, and the state condition detected by one of the nine sensor
is also indicated. The wet-icy transition is identified at about -7

C, whereas the icy-wet
transition is identified when the internal temperature is about 0

C. So, the wet-icy transition
was detected at lower temperatures than the icy-wet transition, probably due to the higher
value of specific heat for water (about 4000 J kg
) with respect to ice (about 2000 J kg
), which determines a higher time to cool water than that needed to warm ice, keeping
constant the magnitude of the temperature gradients imposed by the climatic chamber.
In order to study the repeatability of the estimates provided by the sensor, three experiments
were performed. Time instants of state transitions estimated for each sensor during the
three experiments are shown in Figure 8C. Differences of the estimated times of transition
were in the order of a few minutes, which is related to the spatial heterogeneity of the icing
and melting processes. The standard deviations of the time instants of the state transitions
wet-icy and icy-wet estimated for each sensor are shown in Figure 8D. The time instants of
the state transitions dry-wet and wet-dry were not considered, since the sensor were wetting
and drying by the user. The standard deviation obtained for three experiments for the state
transition wet-icy was larger than that obtained for the state transition icy-wet. Indeed,
water started freezing from the surface proceeding downward, so a small difference in the
thickness of the layer of water could determine a spread of the delays of different sensors in
the identification of the presence of ice. On the other hand, the melting process started at
242 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 13
the sensor surface (probably due to low energy dispersions from the device). Moreover, there
is no relevant difference between the standard deviation values obtained in the same state
transitions for three experiments.
5.2. Simulation results
The reliability of the capacitance estimates provided by the mathematical model of the sensor
was investigated during a simulation tests, applying the same simulated conditions of the
laboratory experiment. At the beginning of the test, the sensor has a simulated temperature
of 25

C in the state dry. After 18 samples, the simulated state of the sensor became wet,
and the temperature decrease up to -20

C with a temperature gradient of -1

C per sample.
During this period, at 0

C, the water over the sensor frozes. When the simulated temperature
reached -20

C, it increased up to 25

C with a temperature gradient of 1

C per sample. During
this period, at 0

C, ice melts. When the simulated temperature reached 25

C, the state of the
sensor became dry. The simulation test ends after 18 more samples.
Simulated capacitance values obtained using the mathematical model at different
measurement frequencies and simulated temperature values are shown in Figure 9A. During
the simulated dry and wet states of the sensor, the values of capacitance at high, medium,
and low frequencies were close to 0.3pF and 0.6pF, respectively. During the simulated icy
state of the sensor, the values of capacitance at high frequency were close to 0.45pF whereas at
mediumand lowfrequencies were close to 0.6pF. Thus, there were difference on the simulated
capacitance values at different frequencies, reflecting the variation of the relative permittivity
of ice with frequency. The obtained simulated capacitance values are very similar to those
obtained during the laboratory test (see Figure 7), subtracting the calibration value, which
is about 0.3pF. This demonstrates the validity of the mathematical model. Low pass filtered
values of simulated capacitance are shown in Figure 9B. First-order derivative of the simulated
filtered values of capacitance are shown in Figure 9C (below). Peaks are clearly visible
near the variation of the state of the sensor. States of the sensor revealed by the algorithm,
using simulated data, are shown in Figure 9C (above). The estimated states agreed with the
simulated state of the sensor, showed in Figure 9A.
The mathematical model are used to characterize the sensor in different situations. Two
simulation tests were performed, the first one oriented to the effect of the thickness of water
or ice placed over the sensor, the second one oriented to the study of the capacitance values at
different measuring frequencies when water or ice was placed over the sensor.
The values of capacitance obtained using the mathematical model at different thicknesses of
water, from 0 (dry sensor) to 10mm, are shown in Figure 10A (temperature of 25

CC and
measurement frequency of 20MHz, but equivalent results are obtained for lower frequencies).
Capacitance values rose slightly increasing the thickness of water over the sensor. Simulated
values of capacitance for different thicknesses of ice are also shown in Figure 10A(temperature
of -10

CC and measurement frequency of 200Hz and 20MHz). Also increasing the thickness
of ice formed over the sensor the capacitance values rise. Simulated values of capacitance
obtained for different measurement frequencies of water and ice are shown in Figure 10B
(thickness of 1mm, and temperature of 25

CC for water and -10

CC for ice). Increasing the
measurement frequency, the values of capacitance decreased, following the same trend of the
relative permittivity.
243 A Road Ice Sensor
14 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
Figure 9. Signal processing algorithm applied to simulation data. A) Simulated capacitance values
obtained during the simulation test at different measurement frequencies. B) Low pass filtered values of
the simulated capacitance. C) States of the sensor revealed by the algorithm (above). First-order
derivative of the low pass filtered simulated capacitance values (below).
5.3. Comparison of ice detection over the sensor and on the surface of a road
In order to detect ice formation on the surface of a road or a runway, embedding the sensors
directly on the pavements is preferable. However, the surface of the sensor is flat and very
different from that of the road, which is a rough surface due to the bitumen. Moreover, the
sensor blocks percolation of water, which is very important in determining the road surface
conditions. Thus, the icing and melting processes on the sensor and on the surface of a road
may have a deviation, which is difficult to predict. In order to address this issue, some sensors
were covered by bitumen [35, 36]. The bituminization process was performed in laboratory,
and the experiment descript above was performed using bituminized sensors. The bitumen
do not affect the measurement since the values obtained by bituminized sensors are the same
of that obtained by sensors without bitumen. The reason is that bitumen has a very small
value of relative permittivity (ε
= 3, close to the value of relative permittivity of the Arnite)
and this value does not change with the measurement frequencies [35, 36].
Nevertheless, the icing process over a bituminized sensor may be different from that of a
road even if the two surfaces are the same, since percolation under them is different. For
this reason the indications provided by the sensor were compared with the ice formation and
melting over a road model identified by direct inspection. The road model was obtained
using a road core with diameter of 30 cm and thickness of 20 cm. It is constituted by three
layers, with asphalt and concrete with different granularity, allowing a good distribution of
loads and a proper drain and filtration. In order to compare the indication of presence of
ice provided by the sensor with the ice formation and melting over a road, experimental
tests were performed applying the same environmental conditions to three sensors and to
244 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 15
Figure 10. Simulation tests result. A) Simulated capacitance values at different thickness of water and
ice (temperature of 25

CC for water and -10

CC for ice). B) Simulated capacitance values at different
measurement frequencies when water and ice were placed over the sensor (thickness of 1 mm, and
temperature of 25

CC for water and -10

CC for ice).
the road core, and evaluating the dispersion of the time instants in which phase changes were
detected. Experimental tests were executed inserting the sensors and the road core in the
climatic chamber. At the top of the climatic chamber, an USB webcam (Logitech - QuickCam
Pro 9000; operative temperature range from -20

C to +60

C) was inserted to acquire images
from the road core in order to detect the formation of the ice over it. A PC was used to store
images from the USB webcam and sensory data from the sensors. Images and data were
simultaneously acquired using a sampling frequency of 1 sample per minute.
Two different experimental tests were performed, the first imposing a linear gradient of
temperature, the second leaving the climatic camber in static condition. Specifically, in the
first test, the sensors and the road core were first introduced into the climatic chamber with a
temperature of 25

C, for approximately 10 minutes in order to wait that the indications of the
sensor became stationary. Then, 1 mm of tap water was placed over each sensor and at the
center of the road core. Different temperature gradients were applied and the time instants in
which the sensors identified ice formation and the road core surface froze were investigated.
Specifically, the climatic chamber was arranged to reach -20

C with different temperature
gradients equal to -0.25

C/min, -0.5

C/min, and -0.75

C/min. During this period, the
water froze. Once reached the minimum temperature of -20

C, the climatic chamber kept
stable conditions for approximately 10 minutes, and then it was arranged to reach 25

C with
opposite temperature gradient. During this period, the ice melted. The climatic chamber
kept the temperature of 25

C for approximately 10 minutes. Then, sensors and the road
core were dried. In the second test, sensors and road core were first placed in the climatic
chamber. Then, the chamber was arranged to reach -10

C with a temperature gradient of

C/min. Once reached the temperature of -10

C, the climatic chamber was arranged to
keep stable conditions. One mm of tap water was placed over each sensor and at the center of
245 A Road Ice Sensor
16 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
the road core. After closing the chamber, the water placed over the sensors and the road core
froze. Then, the climatic chamber was open at ambient conditions and the ice melted. Finally,
sensors and the road core were dried. This experiment was repeated in three different days in
order to investigate the repeatability of the data.
The results of the experiments are shown in Figure 11. The time intants of formation and
melting of ice are shown for the sensors and compared to those in which the same happened
over the road model. There was always a negative bias between the indication of the sensors
and the conditions of the road. It is worth noticing that there is a deviation between the
indications of the sensor and what happens over the road core, as the indications of the sensor
anticipate the road conditions. Ice forms before over the sensor, due to the smooth surface of
the sensor, which facilitates the formation of ice crystals on it than over the road. Moreover,
ice melts before over the sensor than over the road core: this is probably due to the low power
consumption of the electronics, which warms the surface of the sensor.
Figure 11. Time instants in which ice formed or melted over the road core compared to the indications
of the sensors. A) First experiments, in which different gradients of temperature are applied. B) Second
experiments, in which stable conditions at -10

C were maintained by the chamber till water froze and
then it was switch off and the door was opened.
5.4. Effect of salt in the water
As one of the main problems in taking measures is the presence of salt spread over the road to
avoid ice formation, the output of the sensor when covered by a ionic solution is investigated
considering both a simulation model and experiments in the laboratory.
Simulations were performed using a mathematical model of the sensor which extends the one
descript above. The model includes the electrode assembly and three planar layers over it,
describing Arnite, a ionic solution (modelling a solution of water and salt), and air. Potential
satisfies Laplace equation in the Arnite and in air (as no ion is present there) and Poisson
246 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 17
equation in the ionic solution, where the ions contribute as a source term. Ions are present
only in the ionic solution and satisfy continuity equation, which accounts for their diffusion
and transport within the electric field generated by the external potential. The equations
considered for each layer are the followings:

= 0
= −
· (n

= D
· (Δn
) −D
· (Δn
= 0
where q is the electrical charge of the ions, k is the Boltzman constant, T is the absolute
temperature, n
indicates the positive or negative ion densities, D
is their diffusion
coefficient (Na
: 1.33 · 10
; Cl

: 2.03 · 10
), and N is the density of the ions in
thermodynamic equilibrium. The analysis is performed in the limit of small amplitude of the
applied voltage (with respect to the thermal voltage), so that the response of the sample to the
external signal is linear (the ion densities can be approximated with their value at equilibrium
in the continuity equations) [2]. For the ions, the boundary condition was that the current
density flowing across the boundary of the second layer (in which they are located) was zero.
Experiments were also performed in the laboratory to assess the effect of dissolving different
quantities of salt in the water covering the surface of the sensor. The values of capacitance
at both high and low frequencies were acquired for one sensor covered by 2ml of water with
different concentrations of salt, with salinity between 20% and 100%. The maximum value of
salinity (100%) was obtained dissolving 36mg of salt per 100ml of water [10].
The impedance of the sensor at different concentrations of salt dissolved into the water
is shown in Figure 12, for both simulations and experiments in the laboratory. Different
percentages of salinity (from 20% to 100%) were considered. In the case of the experiments,
for each salinity value, data were acquired for five minutes and mean and standard deviation
of the measured capacitance were computed. Also data for pure water (without adding salt)
are shown. Simulations indicated that the presence of ions in the water reduces the electrical
resistance measured by the sensor monotonically with the increase of the concentration of the
ions. Nevertheless, the imaginary part of the impedance is much larger than the real one for
the two operating frequencies considered, so that the system is essentially insensitive to the
presence of salt in the solution, as also indicated by the experiments.
5.5. Experiment in the field
Behavior and robustness of the sensors were studied in the field. Three sensors were
embedded at the Turin-Caselle airport in order to detect formation of ice at the beginning,
ending and in the middle of the runway, and increase safety during take off and landing of the
aircrafts. Moreover, a complete weather station (PCE Group - PCE FWS-20) was placed close
to the sensors to monitor meteorological variables, such as ambient humidity, temperature,
pressure, velocity and direction of the wind, and quantity of rain falls. On field experiment
lasted for a 36 days period (12/01/2010 - 17/02/2010).
Values of capacitance obtained by one of the three sensors (high and low measurement
frequencies) during the in the field experiment are shown in Figure 13. In detail, capacitance
247 A Road Ice Sensor
18 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
Figure 12. Impedance and capacitance of the system with different salinity, obtained in simulation (layer
of water solution 5mm thick) and with experiments (2ml of solution were put over the sensor surface).
values (raw data) at low and high measurement frequencies are shown in Figure 13A.
Variations of the values of capacitance over a 36 days period are clearly visible, since the state
of the sensor (dry, wet, or icy) continuously changed. States of the standard sensor revealed
by the algorithm are shown in Figure 13B. The algorithm was validated during the laboratory
tests, so the states revealed for each sensor during the on field test were assumed correct.
Environmental data obtained by the weather station are shown in Figure 13C (quantity of rain
falls), Figure 13D(humidity of the air), and Figure 13E (temperature of the air). Environmental
data are used to examine the correct estimation of the state of the sensor.
During the test period, the sensors revealed different road surface conditions (dry, wet, and
icy). Wet condition of the surface of the runway was identified also in the case of fog,
confirming that even a slow condensation of water over the sensor surface is associated to
a jump in the value of capacitance that may be easily identified Transition to icy conditions
were identified when the sensor was wet and temperature decreased to a negative value.
5.6. Relation between sensor output and weather conditions
Considerations about the correlation between weather data and state of the surface of the
sensor are studied, with special attention to the weather data during ice formation and the
relation between relative humidity and variation of the measured capacitance of the sensor.
248 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 19
Figure 13. On field results obtained from a sensor placed at the Turin-Caselle airport over the period
12/01/2010 - 17/02/2010. A) Values of capacitance (raw data) obtained for the sensor. B) States of the
sensors revealed by the algorithm. C) Quantity of rain falls. D) Ambient humidity. E) Ambient
Capacitance values from the sensors embedded at the airport were used. Weather conditions
in airports are usually reported in the form of a METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report),
which is a format for the transmission of weather data (temperature, dew point, humidity,
pressure, wind velocity and direction, quantity of rain falls, and solar radiation) together
with considerations about the observed weather condition (sun, cloud cover, rain, snow, etc.).
METAR data are on-line available for nearly every airport in the world. Reports are generated
about twice an hour (sampling period is usually 30 minutes, but sometimes a pair of data is
sampled with 10 minutes delay). The Turin airport is coded as LIMF in the METAR database.
Data from January 2010 to September 2010 were used for the comparison with the indication
provided by the sensors.
Data were first interpolated in order to be defined on the same time samples, with period of 1
minute. Data from the ice sensors and weather data were linearly interpolated. The observed
weather conditions given by the METAR database were interpolated with a nearest neighbour
approach. Correlation was estimated between the state provided by each sensor and the
information of the observed weather condition provided by the METAR system. The observed
249 A Road Ice Sensor
20 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
weather conditions were grouped in 4 classes, indicating rain, fog, snowfall and none of the
above. The first three observations were correlated with the wet state provided by the sensors.
Since the road remains wet also after rain, fog or snowfall stopped, correlation was estimated
only within periods in which the METAR indications were rain, fog, or snow, respectively.
The icy state provided by the sensors were correlated with the following prediction algorithm:
ice forms on the ground if the air temperature is lower than 0

C and the absolute difference
between air temperature and the dew point is lower or equal to 1

C [1]. The dew point T
that is the temperature to which air must be cooled to trigger condensation of its water vapour,
was estimated as [14]:
= T −31.25[2 −log(RH)] (14)
where T is the air temperature in Celsius and RH the relative humidity. The values of
air temperature and relative humidity were also provided by the METAR system. This
algorithm indicates that the region of parameters T and RH allowing the formation of ice
is the following:

T < 0
RH > 93%
The correlation between the wet state estimated by the sensors and the rain indication
provided by the present weather sensor of the METAR systemis shown in Table 1. Correlation
is always upper than 90%, it is higher during winter months with respect to the summer
Sensor A Sensor B Sensor C
January 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
February 96.0% 93.6% 100.0%
March 99.0% 97.9% 97.9%
April 100.0% 100.0% 98.1%
May 96.0% 95.6% 91.7%
June 94.6% 93.0% 92.6%
July 90.8% 93.4% 95.2%
August 94.7% 91.6% 93.1%
Table 1. Correlation between the wet state provided by the sensors and the rain indication provided by
the METAR system.
The fog indication was obtained by the present weather sensor of the METAR system only
during winter. Correlation between the wet state provided by the sensors and the fog
indication of the METARsystemis shown in Table 2. Correlation is higher than 51%in January
and higher than 85% during February and March.
Sensor A Sensor B Sensor C
January 58.9% 54.0% 51.3%
February 91.8% 94.7% 88.5%
March 100.0% 85.7% 96.5%
Table 2. Correlation between the wet state provided by the sensors and the fog indication provided by
the METAR system.
Snow fell during the first three months of the year. Correlation between the wet state of the
sensors and the snowfall indication provided by the present weather sensor of the METAR
250 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
A Road Ice Sensor 21
system is shown in Table 3. Correlation is higher than 92% in January and February, and
decrease to about 80% in March.
Sensor A Sensor B Sensor C
January 92.6% 100.0% 100.0%
February 99.6% 100.0% 100.0%
March 95.7% 79.2% 92.2%
Table 3. Correlation between the wet state provided by the sensors and the snow indication provided by
the METAR system.
The ice indication was obtained by the sensor during the first three months of 2010.
Correlation between the icy state provided by the sensors and the ice indication estimated
by the prediction algorithm above described is shown in Table 4. Correlation is quite low for
all the sensors.
Sensor A Sensor B Sensor C
January 48.5% 64.6% 43.2%
February 78.1% 73.0% 62.2%
March 28.2% 36.1% 39.3%
Table 4. Correlation between the icy state provided by the sensors and approximation that ice can be
found on the ground.
Correlation with rain and snowfall was higher than that with fog, which could wet the road
only when it lasted a long time. Correlation between the indications of the sensors and of
the prediction algorithm was low. This is due to many reasons. For example, in the case in
which a thick layer of ice formed over the sensor and started to melt (as correctly predicted
by the algorithm) due to the changed weather conditions, the sensor would still indicate that
its surface is frozen, until the complete melting of the layer of ice. It should also be considered
that the sensor surface could be wet after raining, even if the relative humidity measured by
a weather station is lower than that required by the algorithm to predict the formation of ice:
in such a condition, it is sufficient that the temperature lowers under 0

C to get ice over the
sensor, regardless the value of the relative humidity. Moreover, the formation of ice depends
on the concentration of the water covering the surface of the sensor, which could be dirty.
6. Conclusions
A low cost capacitive sensor for the estimation of road condition is presented. Performances
of the sensor were investigated in simulations, laboratory and in the field experiments.
Laboratory results showed that the sensor correctly identified the presence of air, water, or ice
on its surface. Repeatability was satisfied, as different sensors provided the same indication
with time delay of a few minutes during different laboratory experiments. Simulation results
showed that the mathematical model correctly simulates the behavior of the sensor, allowing
the simulation of different sensor conditions. Moreover, laboratory and simulation results
showed that the sensor is not sensitive to salt present over the its surface. In the field results
showed that the sensors placed at the Turin-Caselle airport worked properly, recognizing air,
water, or ice over the runway. Finally, the device provided information consistent with the
METAR message for the whole period of study.
251 A Road Ice Sensor
22 Will-be-set-by-IN-TECH
The sensor may find applications in monitoring road conditions to support information
systems assuring security and efficient maintenance of roads or airports during winter.
However, the descript sensor has a limitation. The measured value of capacitance depends
on possible contaminations (e.g. dirt, or fuel) present in the water covering the sensor.
Contaminants may change the relative permittivity of the water or ice, or even its variation
with frequency, modifying the functionality of the sensor. For this reason, the detection of
possible contaminations should be useful, in order to correct the wrong indication of the
7. Future works
Future works will be focused on the estimation of the thickness of the water or ice placed over
the sensor. Since simulations showed that the capacitance values of the sensor increase with
the increasing of the thickness of the water or ice placed over the sensor, the sensor can be also
used for the estimation of this information. The estimation of the thickness of water can be
useful to quantify, for example, the quantity of rain falls.
Nevertheless, the precision of the estimates of the sensor indicates its feasibility for different
applications, such as ice forecasting using an artificial neural network, also using the local
weather data available.
Finally, future works will be focused on the detection of the presence of snow or frost on
the road and runway surfaces. At present, the sensor detects both snow and frost as water,
but should be possible to distinguish between them. Moreover, the discrimination between
different types of liquid solutions should be possible using the sensor.
This work was sponsored by the national projects AWIS (Airport Winter Information System)
and ITACA(Innovazione Tecnologica, Automazione e nuovi Controlli Analitici per migliorare
la qualità e la sicurezza dei prodotti alimentari piemontesi), both funded by Piedmont
Authority, Italy.
Author details
Amedeo Troiano, Eros Pasero and Luca Mesin
Politecnico di Torino - Dipartimento di Elettronica,
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254 New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering
Chapter 10
Optical Techniques
for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles
J. P. Carmo and J. E. Ribeiro
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
The optical techniques are a powerful tool on situations where either the physical contact or
invasive techniques for evaluation are not suitable. Vehicle environments constitute an
application field for the optical techniques and are the focus of this chapter. In order to
reinforce this kind of techniques, it must be clarified that the idea to manipulate the light backs
to the second century before our age, when Archimedes planned to destroy enemy ships using
a solar heat ray with an array of actuators to change the shape of a mirror (Bifano T., 2011).
Therefore, the field of photonics is the one that offers the possibility to achieve one of the
greatest realizations and applications because the light is present in all aspects of the human
life and our way of living is impossible without light (Carmo J. P. et al., 2012a). Optical
measurement systems are also suitable for harsh monitorization because they are non-contact
and full-field techniques. This is the case of Moiré Interferometry, which is used for many
optoelectronic applications as displacement measurements (Wronkowski L., 1995), evaluation
of microelectronics devices deformation (Xie H. et al., 2004), optical communications (Chen L.
et al., 2000), strain measurements with Fiber Bragg Grattings, FBGs, (Silva A. F. et al., 2011) and
spectrography (Kong S. H. et al., 2001). In this context, it must be noted that the recent nuclear
disaster in Fukushima, Japan, confirms the need of tighter security measures be done within
harsh environments (which includes the automobiles) in order to increase both the safety of
people and the reliability of vehicles’ parts.
2. Principles of full-field optical techniques
2.1. Holographic interferometry
The holography is a method to store and regenerate all the amplitude and phase
information contained in the light which is scattered from an illuminated object. This
technology offers the possibility of three dimension photography.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 256
Despite the holography requires coherent light, it was discovered by Gabor in 1948 (Gabor
D., 1948), more than a decade before the invention of the laser, which in 1960. By means of
holography an original wave field can be reconstructed at a later time at a different location.
This technique therefore has many potential applications.
In the year of 1965, when the CW lasers became available, Robert Powell and Karl Stetson
published the first work on holographic interferometry (Powel R. L. et al., 1965). Using this
technique, it is possible record the precise shape and position of a object in two different
states, then it is possible compare the two records to measure the movement or deformation,
that were displayed as fringes on the image.
In the Figure 1 is shown the optical set-up of holography.

Figure 1. Holography configuration to measure the surface displacement.
The laser beam is divided in two beams using a beam splitter (BS). Each of one is opened by
two lenses (L1 and L2), on film plate is recorded the interference of two coherent wavefronts:
the object (OW) and reference (RW). When the film plate is developed and then illuminated
by the reference wavefront, it will be reconstructed a virtual image of the original object. The
most used technique for displacement measurement is double exposure or frozen-fringe,
which records two holograms on the same film plate, the first one is corresponding to an
initial condition of the object and the second one to a displaced or charged condition. The
image is reconstructed by a coherent beam illumination; the two reconstructed images will
interfere, resulting in a holographic fringe pattern that can be used to measure surface
displacements. Each fringe represents a contour of equal displacement of the object, where
the value of displacement is one-half the wavelength of the light source used in the
recording process (Shang H. et al., 2009).
There are others holographic interferometry techniques in which the most relevant are real-
time live-fringe and time-average holographic interferometry. The real-time approach
requires that the photographic plate must be physically developed in place without
changing its position. The single-exposure hologram is made in the regular way and after it
is illuminated by the reference beam while the object is illuminate by the original object
beam (Cloud G., 1988). The time-average holographic interferometry approach is used for
film plate

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 257
modal analysis of vibrating bodies. A hologram of the moving body is made with an
exposure time lasting over numerous periods of the vibrational motion.
Recent advances in recording materials, lasers and computer allowed more holography
techniques being developed, which include: TV holography, digital holography and
dynamic holographic interferometry. These techniques open new and challenge fields of
research and applications. Nevertheless, this technique has some drawbacks like the
displacement components cannot be measured independently in different planes. Another
limitation is the strict requirement of vibration (half a wavelength of the illuminating
source), if the vibration magnitude is higher occurs decorrelation. As a result, its industrial
application as a routine Non Destructive Testing (NDT) technique is restrict, usually these
techniques are used in laboratory environment.
2.2. Electronic speckle pattern interferometry
Electronic speckle pattern interferometry is a NDT technique which basic concepts were
simultaneously developed Mavsky et al (Macovsky A. et al., 1971) in United States and by
Butters and Leendertz (Butters J. et al., 1971; Butters N. et al., 1975) in England. Later group
pursued the development of the ESPI technique, with Lökberg (Lökberg O. et al., 1976;
Lökberg O., 1985) and Beidermann (Beidermann et al., 1975) being important references in
this field.
Speckle techniques use the random pattern of dark and bright spots (speckles) that are
formed in space when a diffusely reflecting object is illuminated by coherent laser light
(laser speckles). A random granular pattern called a speckle pattern is observed when
looking, with the eye or with a camera, at a object surface when it is illuminated by a
laser - see the Figures 2(a) and (b). The speckles appear only if the surface roughness is
greater than the wavelength, λ, of the light. If the object is imaged, each point P on the
detector will gain contribution of light coming from a coherence volume, determined by at
least the airy spot and the roughness of the surface (Svanbro A., 2005).
The observed speckle pattern unrepeatable for each illuminated area in the sense that the
observed pattern is unique for the microstructure of the specific surface area. Another
region will give rise to a totally different random speckle pattern. The speckle pattern is
records by a CCD camera and could interfere with a reference wave. If the object suffers a
deformation caused by an external load, the speckle pattern will change due the variation of
wavefront between the object and reference waves. This deformation could be computed
using an operation of digital subtracting between the speckle patterns corresponding to
before deformation from the one after deformation. This operation will result in an
interferogram, which will be displayed on the monitor as a pattern of dark and bright
fringes that are called correlation fringes. ESPI allows displacements in different directions
to be measured separately with a high-resolution.
ESPI technique can be sensitive to out-of-plane or in-plane displacement, depending of the
used optical set-up. For in-plane displacement measurement (Figure 3), the object lies in the

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 258

Figure 2. (a) The schematic representation of speckle formation and (b) a typical speckle pattern.

Figure 3. A schematic presentation of the optical set-ups used in-plane ESPI (Jones R. et al., 1974). LA:
laser source, BS: beam splitter, M1 and M2: plane mirrors, L: lens, TS: test specimen or object.


Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 259
xy-plane and is illuminated by two plane wavefronts, inclined at equal and opposite angles,
θ, to the x-axis surface-normal. No separate reference beam is needed at the image plane.
The positive y-axis points out of the page, and the center of the viewing lens aperture lies on
the z-axis. The phase change Δ| of the wavefront from the object surface before and after
deformation can be expressed as:

sin( )U
A| = u
where λ is the wavelength of the laser, θ the incident angle, and U is the in-plane
displacement component.
For out-of-plane displacement measurement, the object is illuminated by an object which is
viewed by a CCD camera (Figure 4). A reference speckle pattern formed by a reference
beam is also observed by the camera. So the resultant image is the interference of these two
speckle patterns.

Figure 4. ESPI sensitive to out-of-plane displacement. Where BS1,2: beam splitter; M: plane mirror; L1:
concave lens; L2: convex lens.
The relation between the phase change and the deformation can be expressed as:

1 cos( ) W
( A| = + u
¸ ¸
where W is the out-of-plane displacement component
2.3. Shearography
Shearography technique is particularly interesting because it enables direct measurements
of displacement derivatives which are related to the strains (Hung Y. et al., 1973; Leendertz,
J. A. et al., 1973).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 260
The basic principle of shearography, is to carry the rays scattered from one point of the
object into interference with those from a adjacent point. To obtained this interference is
used a speckle-shearing interferometric camera like the represented in the Figure 5. The
optical set-up is similar as that used in common speckle photography, however one half of
the camera lens is covered by a thin glass wedge. Thus, the two images focused by each half
of the lens are laterally sheared one to other (Gåsvik K. J. et al., 2002). The shearing direction
is oriented by the wedge position and it is proportional to its angle. If the shearing is in the x
direction, the rays from a point P(x,y) on the object will interfere in the image plane with
those from a neighboring point P(x+δx,y).

Figure 5. The optical set-up of shearography.
When the object is deformed there is a relative displacement between the two points that
produces a relative optical phase change A| is given by:

1 cos( ) ( , ) ( , )
sin( ) ( , ) ( , )
w x x y w x y
u x x y u x y
¦ ¹ ( ( + u × + o ÷ +
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
¦ ¦
¦ ¦
A| = ×
´ `
¦ ¦
( + u + o ÷
¦ ¦ ¸ ¸
¹ )
where θ is the angle of incidence and u and w are the displacement components in the x-and
z-directions, respectively. If the shear δx is very small, the relative displacements may be
approximated by the displacement derivatives and thus Equation (3) becomes:
{ 1 cos( ) sin( ) }
w u
k x
x x
c c
( A| = + u + u o
¸ ¸
c c
By rotating the camera 90º around the z-axis, u in Equation (4) is replaced by v, the
displacement component in the y-direction.
2.4. Moiré methods
The word Moiré derives from the French term meaning wet silk or fringe patterns produced
by the interference of aligned fibers in thin tissues. In Engineering, Moiré refers to a
technique for experimental analysis for determining the displacement or deformation from a
P(x + δx,y)

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 261
set of interference fringes resulting from the superposition of two systems - one in the
deformed specimen and the other that is undeformed can be used as reference. Moiré
techniques have appeared in the field of optics since nineteenth century (Rayleigh L., 1874).
The Moiré techniques allow the measurement of deformations which occur when an object
is subjected to applied charges. These methods can measure out-of-plane and in-plane
displacements. The displacements are measured simultaneously over the whole view field
and the measurement data are exposed as contour maps of displacements. One of most
important Moiré method is the Moiré interferometry that was performed by Post (Post D. et
al., 1994) in 1980 and represents one the most important advances in optical techniques
applied to experimental stress analysis in the last decades. The Moiré interferometry
principle is based in the interference of two coherent light beams or lasers beams. This
interference produces regions in space of constructive and destructive interference where
two equal coherent beams intersect. The most important advantages of Moiré interferometry
compared with other optical methods are: excellent fringe contrast, high sensitivity and
special resolution (typically 0.417 µm per fringe), dynamic range of measurement and high
signal-to-noise ratio (Ribeiro J. E., 2006). On the other hand, an important disadvantage of
this technique is the need of a high-frequency grating replication onto the sample surface
before the measurement begins. The replication of grating could restrict its application in
cases where the replicated grating may considerably change the stiffness of the testing
sample, another difficulty of this process is the need of a technician with experience
implement the replication and it is very laborious.
To measure in-plane displacement with Moiré interferometry are used two symmetrical
incident beams of mutually coherent light (Post D. et al., 1994), see the Figure 6.

Figure 6. Schematic representation of Moiré interferometry principle (Post D. et al., 1994).
The diffraction equation for the represented grating is:
sin( ) sin( )
m s
m f | = o + ì (5)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 262
where |m are angles of diffracted beams, o is the angle of incident beam, m
the diffraction
order, λ the laser wavelength and fs is the grating frequency of specimen.
When the equation (5) is satisfied, the ±1 order diffraction beams will emerge normal to the
specimen grating, producing a uniform intensity throughout the field (null field) (Shang H.
et al., 2009).
The obtained displacement fields allow the calculation of components orthogonal direction
(x, y) and they can be expressed as:

1 1
1 1
x x
y y
u N N
f f
v N N
f f
= =
= =
By differentiation of displacements is obtained the corresponding strain components:

1 1
2 2
1 1
2 2
1 1
2 2
x x
s s
y y
s s
N N u
x f x f x
y f y f y
N u v
y x f y x
c A c
c = = ~
c c A
c A
c = = ~
c c A
| | A
| | A c c
| c = + ~ +
c c A A
\ .
\ .
where Nx and Ny are fringe orders in x and y direction, respectively.
To measure out-of-plane deformation and obtained the shape of a body is frequently used
the well-kwon experimental technique Shadow Moiré (Takasaki H., 1970). The optical set-up
is schematically represented in the Figure 7.

Figure 7. An optical set-up of Shadow Moiré.
The grating lying over the curved surface is illuminated under the angle of incidence ¸
(measured from the grating normal) and viewed under an angle ¢ (Gåsvik K. J., 2002). From

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 263
the Figure 7, it possible to observe that a point O on the grating is projected to a point O’ on
the surface which by viewing is projected to the point O’’ on the grating. This is equivalent
to a displacement of the grating relative to its shadow equal to:

tan( ) tan( )
W =
¸ + ¢
where W is the out-of-plane displacement, n is the order of fringe and p is the pitch of the
2.5. Digital Image Correlation (DIC)
Digital image correlation belongs to the class of non-contacting measurement methods that
were developed by Sutton (Sutton M. A. et al., 1983; Sutton M. A. et al., 1986; Sutton M. A. et
al., 1991; Sutton M. A. et al., 1988) and by Bruck (Bruck A. et al., 1989), in which acquires
images of an object, store these images in digital form and perform image analysis to obtain
full-field shape, deformation and motion measurements (Sutton M. A. et al., 2009). In this
method is used a mathematical correlation to estimate the displacement in the plane
surfaces or structures of components subject to mechanical or thermal stresses. This
technique is based in the use of random patterns on the surface of the components or
structures. The technique compares two images acquired at different states, one before
deformation (reference image) and other after deformation (deformed image) (Hu T. et al.,
In this technique the object is illuminated by an incoherent light source and the patterns of
intensity results from the surface texture. These patterns of intensity, which would have a
random distribution, are subdivided into smaller areas. Each subregion [originally defined
in the image recorded] is then compared with images obtained by correlation between two
different states of deformation in the object. If f(x,y) is a discrete function that defines the
grayscale of pixel on the original image and f*(x*,y*) is the grayscale of pixel on the final
image (Marcellierl H. et al., 2001). The relation between the two functions is defined by:

* * *
( , ) [ ( , ), ( , )] f x y f x u x y y v x y = + + (9)
where u and v represent the displacement field.
The determination of the displacement field is obtained by correlation between the random
pattern of the initial image (reference) and its transform (deformed). This operation is
performed for all patterns that meet in the center of the virtual grating on the initial image
so as to obtain all the displacement field of each grating element.
Considering the displacement field for a random pattern, that is uniform and bilinear along
the axes x and y, and given by:
( , )
u u u u
u x y a x b y c xy d = + + + (10)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 264
( , )
v v v v
v x y a x b y c xy d = + + + (11)
The correlation between images of before and after deformation can be expressed as:

* * *
2 * * * 2
, ,
[ ( , ) ( , )]
( , ) ( , )
x y S
x y S x y S
f x y f x y
f x y f x y
e e
¸ ¸
¿ ¿
where f(x,y) and f*(x*,y*) are intensity distributions of speckle images before and after
deformation, respectively. When C=1, the two images have the best correlation, i.e., they
become identical.
This method has many advantages compared with others, which is possible to detach the
follow: the cost of DIC is relatively low when compared to moiré and ESPI, because optical
set-up is simple and it is not necessary a coherent light source; the resolution of DIC
depends not only on the optical magnification, but also on the image processing (sub-pixel
algorithms). Using a zoom lens and high resolution imaging system including CCD, can be
reached a resolution of sub-micron.
2.6. Phase measurement techniques
In last decades, have been developed different techniques for quantitative phase
measurement from fringe patterns (Robinson D. W. et al., 1993; Creath K. et al., 1994). These
techniques are classified in two groups: spatial and temporal. In the spatial phase-
measurement techniques, the phase information is extracted from a single interferogram
which has a large number of tilt fringes that are used as a carrier frequency. For the
temporal phase-measurement techniques, the phase is measured using a single point in an
interferogram as the phase difference between the analyzed and reference beams is changed
in a controlled way by the means of a piezoelectric device. The N-frame techniques measure
a sequence of interferograms with known phase shifts techniques and they are the most
popular type of these (Creath K. et al., 1996).
The phase shifts or phase-shifting are the techniques extensively used in automatic fringe
analysis of interferogram. It has considerably improved the accuracy of optical techniques,
allowing the fast visualization of results. In the phase-shifting technique, the phase change is
introduced usually by a calibrated phase steps. The phase of the whole image can be
computed by analyzing the intensity patterns taken at different step.
The intensity or irradiance recorded by a detector for a single interferogram can be written as:

( , ) ( , ){1 ( , )cos[ ( , ) ]}
I x y I x y x y x y = + ¸ ¢ + o (13)
where I0(x,y) is background contribution, ¸(x,y) is the interference fringe amplitude, and
ϕ(x,y) is the function of fringe phase, oi the amount of phase shifting, (x,y) the coordinates of
the image plane.

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 265
The most common phase-shifting technique is the four-point which uses four intensity
values with t/2 relative phase shifts between steps. It is written in the form:

4 2
1 3
atan( )
¢ =
where I1, I2, I3 and I4 are intensities recorded in the detector for four different interferograms
with phase shifts of o=0, t/2, t and 3t/2.
Analyzing the equation (15) it is possible to verify that there are discontinuities for the phase
values of t and -t which results from the atan function. These discontinuities are eliminated
by using algorithms developed for this purpose (unwrapping). Thus, the absolute phase
maps can be computed by phase unwrapping to reveal the accurate displacement field.
3. Industrial applications of full-field optical techniques
3.1. Vehicle shape measurement
In the automotive industry, it is essential measuring with accuracy the 3-D shapes of objects
to ensure product development and manufacturing quality.
Traditionally, the most used technique to measure the vehicle shape is the use of structured
method combined with photogrammetry. In this case are used some targets that are fixed on
the vehicle body which allow the coordinate transformation from local to global. A
structured light is projected on the vehicle surface combined with absolute phase
measurement and phase shifting using fringe frequency change to determine the local
coordinate pixel by pixel at one view direction (Chen F. et al., 2000). The process is repeated
for more than a two hundred views to cover hall vehicle. After these measurements are
obtained a cloud of points that are patched together using a least mean squares method.
Recently, have been developed new progresses in 3D shape measurement (Zhang S., 2010),
in this process is used a projector to project sinusoidal patterns and is called digital fringe
projection technique, if is adopted a phase-shifting algorithm to, this technique is called
digital fringe projection and phase-shifting technique.
In the digital fringe projection technique, a computer creates the digital fringe patterns
which are composed of vertical straight stripes that are sent to a digital video projector. The
fringe images (vertical straight stripes) are projected onto the object, which are distorts by
the surface profile, then a CCD camera captures the distorted fringe images for the
computer that analyzes the fringe images to obtain 3D shape information based on the
deformation using triangulation. In this process is frequently used phase shifting algorithms
which improve the optical metrology resolution (Huang P. S. et al., 2006).
3.2. Measurement of residual stresses
The residual stresses can be defined as those which remain in the material or component
after the manufacturing process and in the absence of external forces and thermal gradients

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 266
(James M. R. et al., 1996). The manufacturing processes are the most common cause of
residual stresses and some examples of manufacturing processes that can introduce residual
stresses in the produced components are casting, welding and machining, all of them are
used in automotive industry. However, the residual stresses can also arise for maintenance
or repair operations. Sometimes, these stresses can also be induced in service during
installation or by occasional overloads.
The effects of residual stresses can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on its magnitude,
sign, and its distribution. In most cases residual stresses are harmful because they overlap
with the operating stresses. However, they could be also beneficial, especially by allowing
the increased of the fatigue limit in components which are dynamically requested. Another
particularly important feature concerning the residual stress is that its presence usually is
undetected until the malfunction or failure occurring.
There are currently different techniques for measuring residual stress, such as the contour
method (Richter-Trummer V. et al., 2011), the hole-drilling with strain gages or optical
processes which use visible radiation of light (Ribeiro J. E., 2006), X-ray and neutrons
diffraction, magnetic techniques and ultra sounds (James M. R. et al., 1996). Some of them
use mechanical processes to stress release in order to measure the residual stresses while in
others it detects its presence by the effect of material properties. However, none of which is
universally applicable, despite the most used technique to measure residual stresses is the
hole-drilling method.
The hole-drilling method is an experimental technique used for measuring the strains on
surface caused by the stress release. These strains can be measured using electrical discrete
transducers or calculated from the displacement field on surface. The optical techniques used
for measuring the displacement have great advantages compared with other techniques,
emphasizing the performing of a global or field measurement and without contact. These
techniques allow in-plane and out-of-plane measurements with a resolution that can be
variable, ranging from a low resolution (tenths of mm) until very high with a magnitude of
used light wavelength (a few tenths of a micrometer). The most used optical techniques
combined with hole-drilling method (Ribeiro J. et al., 2009) are the Moiré interferometry
(Ribeiro J. et al., 2009) and the ESPI (Cheng P. et al., 2008) to measure residual stresses.
In this chapter a process to measure residual stresses with optical techniques (in-plane ESPI
and Moiré Interferometry) is developed and combined with the hole-drilling method.
Measurements were carried out on a ring and plug specimen, constructed to produce well
known residual stress fields. The calibration coefficients were obtained by numerical
simulation with a Finite Element Method (FEM) code. For these measurements were
prepared two optical set-ups, one for Moiré Interferometry (Post D. et al., 1994), see in the
Figure 8, and the other for double-illumination ESPI (Jones R. et al., 1974), see in the Figure 3.
Both were used to measure the in-plane displacements generated by residual stress release.
Image processing algorithms, involving filtering, phase calculation and unwrapping, and
spatial differentiation were used in data post-processing to transform surface displacement
into residual stress fields.

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 267

Figure 8. The schematic presentation of the moiré interferometry optical set-up used (Ribeiro J. et al.,
Where LA is the laser source, Ms is a mask, C is the collimator, WM is a window mask, CB is
the collimated beam, M1, M2, M3 and M4 are plane mirrors, PP is a parallel plate glass, L is
a lens, TS is the test specimen, DG is the diffraction grating, and I is the interferometer.
The stresses were released according to the conventional procedure used with strain gages.
Drilling a hole on the surface of a specimen with residual stresses produces a stress
relaxation around it. The corresponding deformation was assessed in this work with an
optical technique. In the Figure 9 is possible to observe the system used to measure the
residual stresses in the ring and plug specimen using the Moiré Interferometry an ESPI.
In the ESPI measurement an initial specklegram is acquired and saved. Then, the drill is
placed in front of the test specimen and a small hole is drilled to a given depth. Next, the
drill is removed and another specklegram is acquired. The interferogram resulting from the
correlation of the two recordings leads to the surface displacements caused by the stress
relaxation. In this case the surface information is codified in the speckle patterns.
For the Moiré Interferometry a high frequency grating was previously bonded on the surface
of the specimen. The grating used was a 1200 lines/mm, obtained by aluminum vaporization
on the top of an epoxy replication of a master grating. The set-up proposed by Post (Post D. et
al., 1994) was used in the virtual grating generation by laser interferometry. The first recording
was obtained by superposition of the virtual grating over the object replication grating. Then, a
hole is drilled at the desired place, and the Moiré fringes due to stress relaxation are obtained
and recorded. A tiltable parallel plate glass was used to promote phase modulation with a four
image phase calculation algorithm (Creath K. et al., 1996).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 268
In both cases, the residual stress field was computed establishing an appropriate stress–
displacement relationship by a FEM code.

Figure 9. An apparatus to measure residual stresses using the hole-drilling technique associated to: (a)
in-plane ESPI; (b) Moiré Interferometry (Ribeiro J. et al., 2011).
The ring and plug specimen has a closed form solution (Lamé M. G., 1852) for the residual
stresses, and relatively simple stress distribution. In the plug the stress is constant, in the
ring only depends on the radial position. The specimen was prepared in agree of the
reference (Ribeiro J. et al., 2009). After the specimen preparation and its stress state control,
several measurements of residual stresses were made using optical techniques and the hole-
drilling method. The optical set up used to measure residual stresses with in-plane ESPI and
Moiré Interferometry are schematically represented in the Figures 6 and 8, respectively. The
Figure 9 shows details of both set-ups with the additional system for drilling of holes.
To calculate the displacement field eight images should be recorded in both techniques, at
different phase shift, being half of them before and the remaining after hole drilling. In ESPI

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 269
the displacement field is calculated by subtracting the speckle phase maps obtained before
and after strain relaxation.
The Figure 10 summarizes the results obtained for residual stresses measurements. In this
graphic presentation the solid lines represent the stresses calculated by the close form
solutions given by Lamé (Lamé M. G., 1852). The experimental data is represented by dots.
In all the cases the error was less than 17%, with most of the measurements being around 5%
of error.

Figure 10. A closed form solution and experimental measurements with (a) ESPI and (b) Moiré.
In this work an experimental methodology for residual stress assessment is presented using
optical techniques with the hole drilling method. These methods were tested with a well
known residual stress field in a ring and plug specimen. The experimental results obtained
with in-plane ESPI and Moiré Interferometry are in good agreement with the closed form
solution. These optical techniques are a very interesting alternative to the traditional hole-
drilling method with strain gages, and present some advantages, it is a global measurement,
has better resolution and allows measurements closer to the hole edge.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Distance from plug center to hole center [mm]

Tangential Stress
Radial Stress
Stress in Plug
Tangential Stress with ESPI
Radial Stress with ESPI
Stress in Plug with ESPI
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Distance from plug center to hole center [mm]

Tangential Stress
Radial Stress
Stress in Plug
Tangential Stress with Moiré
Radial Stress with Moiré

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 270
4. Other optical techniques for the automotive industry
4.1. Smart materials based on FBGs
There are available a wide variety of optical fiber sensors, which can be divided in three
categories. The first category includes the external type (also known as extrinsic) where the
fiber is only used to transfer the measured information from a distant location (Beard P. C. et
al., 1996). The intrinsic category includes the optical fibers where at least one optical
property (with the consequence of modulating the light) is affected in result of the measured
information (Boerkamp M. et al., 2007). Finally, it exists the hybrid category that includes all
the situations where the light is transferred for further optoelectronic conversion on a
distant receiver (Yau S.-K. et al., 1983). In this context, the Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) are
the most suitable sensing elements with an increased usage for structural measurements due
to their high performance in terms of the sensitivity and linear response. These sensors
differ from conventional optical fiber sensors approaches because their optical signal is not
based on power amplitude but instead on spectral changes. This factor is important for
embodiment techniques into structures (for example, in the vehicles’ structures) since the
bends on the optical fiber introduce intensity changes (Kung P., 2009). Moreover, the FBGs
are suitable sensing elements for doing physical measurements where a kind of
displacement is available. Examples of such applications found in the literature include the
measurements of strain (Ling H. Y. et al., 2006), pressure (Peng B. J. et al., 2005), force (Zhao
Y. et al., 2005), acceleration (Antunes P. et al., 2011), tilt rotation by an angle (Xie F. et al.,
2009), temperature (Gu X. et al., 2006) humidity (Arregui F. J. et al., 2002), magnetic fields
(Orr P. et al., 2010), cardiorespiratory function (Silva A. F. et al., 2011), gait function analysis
(Rocha R. P. et al., 2011) and integration on wearable garments (Carmo J. P. et al., 2012b).
Looking to the technology point of view, the FBGs consists on periodic changes of the
refraction index allong the fiber core. These changes are “shaped” by exposing the fiber to
intense ultra violet (UV) light with a suitable interferometer mask (Hill K. O. et al., 1997).
The typical lengths of produced gratings are in the range of few millimetres and are
characterized by a narrowband resonance spectral reflection. The resonance behaviour
depends on grating pitch and on their axial variation because the resonance behaviour
strictly follows external actions in the exact proportion as the silica matrix surrounding the
gratings (Kersey A. D. et al., 1997). The ultimate effect of the resonances is the reflection by
successive and coherent scatterings from the index modulation of a narrow band of the
incident optical field injected into the fiber (Hill K. O. et al., 1997). In a FBG, the strongest
interaction or mode coupling responsible for the reflected light occurs at a well-known
wavelength, ìB [nm], also known as Bragg wavelength. The Bragg’s spectral component
depends directly from the grating period of the FBG, A [nm], from the modal index, neff, also
known as effective refractive index of the FBG, and is given by:
ìB=2neffA (15)
The shift in the wavelength, AìB [nm], with respect to the cross sensitivity with the
temperature and the axial strain changes, AT [K] and Aε, (respectively) is given by (Wei C. L.
et al., 2010; Silva et al., 2010):

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 271
(1 ) ( )

= ÷ µ Ac + o + ç A
where µε is the photo-elastic coefficient of the fiber, o is the thermal expansion coefficient of
the fiber material, and ξ is the thermo-optic coefficient of the fiber material. Typical value
for a 1550 nm FBG fabricated in a silica fiber, the temperature and the axial strain
sensitivities are respectively AT~13 pm.ºC
and Aε~1 pm.µε
(Silva A. F. et al., 2011). It
mandatory to compensate the temperature offset when the measurements consist only on
strains. The Figure 11 illustrates a FBG structure after being written on an optical fiber. This
figure also illustrates that the injection of a broadband pulse on the FBG results in a reflected
beam located around the Bragg wavelength, ìB . It is then possible to determine the exact
strain by measuring the reflected spectra and/or the shifting produced in the Bragg
wavelength (Zhou W. et al., 2010).
It must also be noted that the absence of mechanical steps on sensor’s fabrication results in
the possibility to fabricate high sensitivity sensors with high reproducibility of their
characteristics (Hill K. O. et al., 1997). However, the most important features that made FBG
based systems a wide established technology were their electrically passive operation,
electromagnetic interference immunity, compact size, self referencing capability, and more
important, inherent multiplexing-ability, which enables a wide number of sensors in a single
fiber as well as Bragg a single interrogation system (Wang Q. et al., 2007).

Figure 11. Illustration of working principle of FBGs.
The artwork illustrated in the Figure 12(a) helps to understand how to apply FBGs on
vehicles. The use of a polymeric carrier with elastic properties, such as those developed and
fabricated by Silva (Silva A. F. et al., 2012) in polychloroethanediyl (polyvinyl chloride, or
simply PVC) (Saeki Y. et al., 2002) with one or more embedded FBGs can be used to sense
deformations along the vehicle structure. The beauty of all is in the intrinsic simplicity, e.g., the
whole system require only the use of a broadband optical source (and centred at the 1550 nm),
incident reflected transmitted

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 272

Figure 12. (a) Application of FBGs for monitoring structural deformations on vehicles, (b)
Optoelectronic monitoring system based on FBGs for online/offline monitoring of vehicles.
a single optical circulator, few FBGs centred at different Bragg wavelengths ìB and a optical
receiver with enough spectral resolution R (Carmo J. P. et al., 2012a) spanned along the
wavelength range to cover all Bragg wavelengths. The Figure 12(b) illustrates an example
for both online (i.e., during the motion of the vehicles) and offline (i.e., with the vehicle
parked for maintenance by a mechanic) monitoring. In terms of technology and systems
there are available a wide number of companies that offer optical sources, FBGs, optical
circulators and optical sources at reasonable costs. Of course, the most challenging task is
embedding FBGs into the flexible carriers. However, this problem was already addressed
and the complete details can be found on (Silva A. F. et al., 2012). The optical source
Superluminiscent LEDs from DenseLight Semiconductors manufacturer can constitute a
possibility due to its capability to generate broadband light beams with wavelengths in the
range 1530-1570 nm with a maximal power of 8 mW (Denselight, 2012). Additionally, this
optical source also presents a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 60 nm with a
maximum ripple of 0.2 dB. The FBGs can be acquired with the FiberSensing company
(FiberSensing, 2012), which offers to their clients the possibility to write gratings in

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 273
hydrogen loaded standard telecommunication fiber (Corning SMF28e+) using the phase
mask technique and a pulsed Excimer Laser. The I-MON 80D interrogation monitor from
Ibsen Photonics (Ibsen, 2012) is an interesting option to implement the optical receiver
because it is especially suitable for real-time spectrum monitoring of signals acquired from
FBG sensors. One of the characteristics of this optical detector is operating in the wavelength
range of 1529-1561 nm with a resolution of 1 pm for at least 20 dBm of optical power.
Moreover, the maximum wavelength drift of this optical detector is around 2 pm per ºC
with a dynamic range of 30 dB, an input optical power in the range 10-50 dBm and a power
consumption of 250 mW. Finally, the optical circulators can be found in the manufacturer
ThorLabs with interesting costs and low losses (ThorLabs, 2012). The 6015-3 optical
circulator constitues an interesting option because it operates in a relatively broadband
wavelength range with isolation higher than 40 dB (e.g., between 1525 nm and 1610 nm
according the manufacturer). Simultaneously, the loss due to the polarization sensitivity of
this component is very low (e.g., less than 0.1 dB). Moreover, the delay spread is also very
low (e.g., less than 0.05 ps). To finish, this optical circulator provides a high return loss (e.g.,
higher than 50 dB) for optical powers up to 500 mW .
4.2. Spectroscopy
Spectroscopy is the science investigating the interaction between radiation and matter
centered on the wavelengths. The propagation of energy occurs through waves that can be
classified either as a function of the frequency υ, or the wavelength λ. The relation between
these two properties is given by the following equation: c=λv where c is the speed of light
). Radiation, within the context presented in this paper, describes how photons
propagate through a medium and is given by E=h.v where E is the energy associated with
the photons emission and h is the Planck constant and is equal to 6.626/10
J.s. With these
equations it is possible to correlate the different properties, which are the foundations of the
spectrography laws. The all-generic purpose spectroscopic techniques used more often are
the X-ray diffraction (XRD, from 10
to 10 nm), ultraviolet (UV, from 10 to 400 nm), visible
(VIS, from 380 to 780 nm) and infrared (IR, from 0.7 to 1000 μm).
Paint is essentially made of three components: binders, pigments (responsible for the
color) and solvents. From these components of paint, attention will only be given to the
one that define colors by selectively absorbing the visible wavelengths. Pigments are
mainly composed by groups of aromatic rings linked by chromophores (may be azo
compounds, carbonyl groups, basic, etc.). The mechanism responsible for providing a
color to a pigment is the combination of two molecular components: the chromophores
and the auxochromes (Zhang Y. et al., 1995). Chromophores are the part of the molecule
that gives the necessary conjunction to obtain colors. The auxochromes are a group of
atoms linked to the chromophores that complement the action of the latter by performing
the necessary changes, within the system’s total energy, resulting in the final color. An
example in basic dye (where chromophores have thiazine group), is seen in the Figure 13
(Lachheb H. et al., 2002).

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 274

Figure 13. Example of the presence of chromophores and auxochromes in basic blue 9.
From the mentioned spectroscopic techniques, only the UV/Vis and IR, allow the detection
of colors from a specific chemical compound by analyzing the intensity level of the
absorption band. Therefore, when a chemical compound absorbs within a specific spectrum,
it means that it will have the complementary color. As an example, if the most intense
absorption band in a UV/Vis spectrum is in the 600 nm, i.e. absorbs the orange color, this
means that its color will be the orange’s complementary; which is blue. Consequently, when
these analyses are done, it is not the color that it is determined directly but, instead, the
chemical composition of the compound.
The main performance parameter is the spectral resolution R=λ/Δλ, where λ [m] is a
particular wavelength setting, and Δλ is the smallest discernible wavelength difference for
the given λ. High-performance spectrometers can reach very high resolutions, greater than
(Lindblom P. et al., 1990) but are macrosized and expensive. However many times,
mainly in the industry due to its intrinsic fast-moving nature, it is not required such a high
level of resolution. Microspectrometers on the other hand, because of their small size
limitation, have resolutions which are more suitable for rapid color evaluation without the
excessively high-quality optical performance for such industrial applications. Spectrometers
built using integrated silicon microsystems, have a spectral resolution R<50 and for MEMS
based systems, R=100 (Carmo J. P. et al., 2012a). Color identification is a process being
widely used in many different fields. A very interesting and challenging one is to apply
microspectrometers in industrial environments. Some industries are more suitable for such
color evaluation and measurement procedures such as the: paint, biomedical, textile,
ceramic, glass, chemical, etc. Industrial production processes permit the possibility to
measure different chemical compounds by spectroscopic methods, which allow studying
the colors and according to the needs, different wavelengths spectrum are used. In this
context, the color identification and evaluation in the different states of matter is a process with
increasing focus by the industry. Within the chemical industry, where is included the textile,
polymeric and the ceramics industries, as well as the biomedical, are some of the ones that
need more of these kind of characterizations. In the mentioned industries, there is a flagrant
need to analyze and detect the presence of different chemical compounds in laboratorial

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 275
environment, by spectroscopy techniques that allow the study of the different colors. These
different spectral analysis techniques demand very expensive, bulky equipments, hardware
and software (Wolffenbuttel). A tunable microspectrometer for non-extremely demanding
optical resolutions industrial applications is a very interesting solution, especially for end-use
customer services offered by the paint industry (Xie F. et al., 2009). Customization of colors can
be done quicker, and cheaper, by analyzing on an early stage, the development of any color is
having. This procedure can potentially save money and time, which is of extreme value in the
industry. Any necessary correction can be performed at any stage of color design. An
application in the automotive industry can be seen in Figure 14.

Figure 14. Microspectrometer use in color evaluation in the automotive industry.
The Figure 14 illustrates from the top to bottom and left to right, a practical use for
microspectrometers in the automotive industry. First, the cars are painted by an industry
standard process and then, the color of the car is evaluated throughout its entire painted
areas, by a microspectrometer in scanning-type movements, in real-time. If the automatic
color evaluation process does not detect any defect the car may move to the next phase. If
that is not the case, then, the correspondent actions can be applied at once without creating
any delays or bubbles in the process line, which is always an undesirable and costly event.
These principles are usable in many other different fields. The glass, jewelry, paint and
textile industries have obvious interests because colors are a direct way to evaluate the
progress of the different production steps and final product design and quality. The Figure
15 shows a block diagram for a setup to perform color evaluation in the paint.

Figure 15. Color evaluation setup.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 276
A light source projecting the full visible spectrum is narrowed down by a monochromator to
set the desired wavelength range. Then, the selected spectrum is transmitted through the
sample and the output light is recorded and analyzed by a photodetector and adequate
software. In the following step, the resulting light is compared with the known selected light
reference for improved resolution and sample characterization. By discriminating the
difference between these two colors, a more accurate reading is obtained and a specific color
pigment can be evaluated, investigated and discriminated. To finish with an example, it is
possible to observe a photography showing a microspectrometer made in silicon for analysing
the visible wavelength in the Figure 16. A detailed discussion about microspectrometers can be
found in (Carmo J. P. et al., 2012a) and in (Wolffenbuttel R. F., 2005).

Figure 16. Photograph of a prototype of an array type microspectrometer composed by 16 channels,
each one with a CMOS photodiode with a Fabry Perot etalon mounted on top. Three main subsystem
blocks can be identified in the photograph: (a) array of 16 Fabry Perot mounted above 16 photodiodes,
(b) dark current reduction, and (c) electronics for readout and signal processing (analog to digital
conversion and amplification) and a serial bus for communicating with external devices (Carmo J. P. et
al, 2012a). Reproduced with authorization of Elsevier Science.
5. Conclusions and further directos of research
This chapter presented optic techniques for analysing defects on vehicles. However, and
given the importance of the vehicular industry in the world, the research doesn’t finishes
with one or other technique. To conclude this chapter it is important to reinforce the need of
renewable power sources for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere (Bell
L. E., 2008) and to reduce the dependence of fossil fuel combustion sources (Vining C. B.,
2008). The current research on production methods for obtaining the next generation algae
biofuels is winning support as an even more sustainable alternative to fossil fuel sources
(Savage N., 2011). However and despite the claim of experts to promote this upcoming

Optical Techniques for Defect Evaluation in Vehicles 277
power source to be a sustainable energy, the biofuels don’t solve the problem of greenhouse
emissions (Wisner R., 2009) and is a threat to forests and agricultural fields (Hudiburg T. W.
et al., 2011). Moreover, oils can’t be yet produced at large scale from algae and at the same
time further/though research in genetics must be done in order to engineer synthetic
microorganisms for excreting the desired hydrocarbons (Biello D., 2011). The demand for
combining vehicles with renewable power is even more evident when locking the hybrid
vehicles available on roads (Boulanger A. G. et al., 2011) or the forthcoming generation of
new plug¬ in vehicles that use the grid power to charge their lithium ion battery packs for
powering their electric traction motors (Voelcker J., 2011). However and despite the
availability of these type of vehicles, these is still much to do at the both the electronics (Cao
J. et al., 2011) and batteries level (Kularatna N., 2011). In this sequence of ideas, it is still
possible to provide cleaner forms of energy from vehicles based on internal combustion of oil
derivatives. The heat released from the vehicle’s engine can be scavenged using solid state
thermoelectric generators (TEGs) based in the Seebeck effect for generating electricity in a
process known as energy harvesting (Carmo J. P. et al., 2010). These TEGs characterizes for a
few number of useful features, such as silent operation and without moving parts in its
constitution (DiSalvio F. J., 1999). These features are behind the successful use by NASA of
radioisotope TEGs (RTGs) for more than three decades of operation in deep space probes
(Wolverton M., 2008) and are now under study for application in vehicles (Snyder G. J., 2008).
Author details
J. P. Carmo
University of Minho, Department of Industrial Electronics, Guimarães, Portugal
J. E. Ribeiro
Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Department of Mechanical Technology, Bragança, Portugal
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Section 3


Chapter 11
Structural Health Monitoring
in Composite Automotive Elements
Hernani Lopes and João Ribeiro
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
The composite materials have demonstrated an improvement in some properties, like the
weight, the durability, the corrosion resistance, and the sound and warmth insulation,
relatively to the classical metallic materials. In addition, the low cost and flexibility of the
structures manufacturing process with composite materials has motivated there growing in
automotive engineering. With the advent of composite materials, lighter and with specific
resistance higher than the metallic, the elements with lower responsibility in vehicles were
gradually replaced by these new materials. Nowadays, the energetic crises, with the increase
of oil prices, have forced the automotive industry to go further and creating a new
generation of more efficient vehicles. One of the key elements in this strategy is to build new
light weight vehicles, and the best option to achieve this goal is increasing the use of
composite materials. This means that basic structural elements have to be constructed in
composite materials. In these applications, the structural elements are highly demanded and
work near of its mechanical strength limit, with high safety requirements. Also, these
structures usually present a high strength/weight ratio. Accordingly, it requires a low
tolerance to damage and therefore requires a tighter control of the integrity of the
components by periodic inspections with non-destructive techniques. In those
circumstances, a low tolerance to damage is required and, therefore, a tight control of the
components integrity by periodic inspections with non-destructive techniques. Despite its
higher strength / weight ratio, the composite elements are more sensitive to internal
damages and present types of defects and/or damages are different than the metallic. The
main damages in composite laminates are the interlaminar debonding, micro-cracks, micro-
buckling and inclusions. These internal damages usually result from the manufacturing
process and/or external stresses during service. The interlaminar unbound or delamination
is the kind of invisible damage and, therefore, more severe and more common in structural
components. Such damage appears essentially in laminated structures, like plate or shells

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 286
with low curvature, and usually results in a substantial loss of structural performance by
reducing its load capacity.
In engineering there is broad interest in structural health monitoring, looking for the early
damage detection. The risk of human lives loss resulting from structural unpredictable
failure, as in the airplanes crashes, bridges or buildings, have motivated the investigation of
the scientific community of the various branches of engineering. Similarly, the superior
performance requirement of the materials has stimulated the development and
improvement of experimental techniques with application in monitoring of the structural
integrity. The earlier damage identification is intended to prevent structural failure and the
programming the replacement of damaged element. The main technical inspection methods
can be divided into global and localized methods (Alamos, 1996). The available inspection
global techniques are based in the sound or ultrasound propagation, magnetic field
variations, radiation inspection, electric current, the thermal emissivity and visual inspection
techniques. All these techniques assume that the behavior of the material in the vicinity of the
damage is known. In addition, a large majority of these techniques is intended exclusively for
research of damage in metallic structures. Moreover, the detection of delamination from the
change of the mechanical characteristics and the static or dynamic structural response has been
extensively referred in the technical literature as preferable. The use of composites elements in
the automotive market (Altenbach, 2004) is increasing and replacing the traditional ones, this
trend shows the importance in the characterization of mechanical properties (Gibson, 2012)
and health monitoring (Boller, 2009) during their time lives.
2. Damage inspection techniques
The development of global methods for damage detection in composite structures has been
primarily motivated by applications to the aviation and aerospace industries (Lopes, 2011). In
technical literature are presented different methodologies for damage characterization in
composite materials. These are usually based in experimental measurements of located and /or
global structure parameters. Generally, the damage identification methods can be classified
into four levels of increased detection (Rytter, 1993): Level 1: Structural integrity; Level 2:
Damage localization; Level 3: Damage quantification and Level 4: Prognosis of remaining
service life. The first three levels of damage detection are related to methodologies directly
supported in experimental measurements. Otherwise, a more complete characterization of
damage requires the use of analytical and numerical time to estimate the remaining life, fourth
level of damage characterization. The actually experimental techniques don’t allow the proper
quantification damage in composite structures. Indeed, the fourth level of characterization of
the damage require the information from three previous levels, this explains why there aren’t
any numerical model capable to predict the remaining life of such components.
2.1. Structural integrity
The first work referenced in the literature addressing the damage detection in composites
structures was made by Adams et al. (Adams, 1975). The proposed methodology is based on

Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Automotive Elements 287
the principle of dynamic stiffness decreased and the damping increased due to the presence
of structural damage. The change in stiffness, both local and global, leads to the decrease of
natural vibration frequencies. As such, the non-uniform distribution of internal forces in
each mode shape produced different variations into the natural frequencies. These changes
are directly related to the location of the damage in structure. On the other hand, there is an
increase in the structural damping caused by the growth of the vibratory energy dissipation in
the region of damage (Peroni, 1991). The comparison of corresponding frequencies or damping
ratio, before and after the structure is put to use, allow their integrity to be evaluated. The
main advantage of using this technique is the simplicity of measuring dynamic structural
properties, natural frequency and modal damping, which are global parameters and don’t
dependent on the measuring points, could be obtained by sparse measurements.
2.1.1. Methods based on natural frequencies and modal damping
The natural frequencies variation principle in one-dimensional structure was tested with
introduction of a single damage, by removing the equivalent to 1% of its cross-section
(Adams, 1978). The structural damage was successfully detected by the decrease of their
natural frequencies. However, this methodology was insufficient to locate and quantify the
damage severity, and also, shown the need for a more complete structural characterization.
Similarly, experimental results on a bridge of a motorway had proven the effectiveness in
detection of damage by a decrease in the natural vibration frequencies (Biswas, 1990). The
same methodology was applied to offshore the structures monitoring (Loland, 1976;
Vandiver, 1975). Subsequently, the decrease of natural frequencies and increased damping
were investigated for delamination detection in composite structures (Lai, 1995). The
experimental results show a higher sensitivity in variation of natural frequencies than in the
modal damping, due to the low resolution and the instability of measurements.
2.1.2. Methods based on frequency response functions
The use of frequency response functions (FRF) was considered by many other authors as a
solution for the detection of the structural integrity (Tsai, 1988; Mannan, 1990; Samman,
1991; Biswas, 1994; Samman, 1994a; Samman, 1994b). The experimental measurement of
FRFs in a laboratory bridge model, allowed the identification of a 3 mm cut in one of the
tested bars (Mannan, 1990). The analysis of the risk failure in trusses structures was
investigated by using poles changes in the FRFs (Manning, 1994).
2.2. Damage localization
The methods dedicated to the damage localization are based on physical principle of the
reduction local structural stiffness. Indirectly, they can be identified from the localization of
disturbances or discontinuities in the experimental structural response, like the:
displacement, rotation, bending moment or strain fields. Another approach is based on the
analysis of the structural stiffness or flexibility changes, which are identified from
experimental modal parameters.

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2.2.1. Methods based on modal response
The extension to two-dimensional structures, plate geometry, of the methodology proposed
by Adams et al. (Adams, 1975) was presented by Cawley (Cawley, 1979a; Cawley, 1979b;
Cawley, 1980). As an alternative to experimental modal analysis, is proposed to apply the
sensitivity method to the modes shapes to deduce the location of damage in plates (Cawley,
1979b). The effect produced by the damage into the modes shapes depends on the size and
stress state of the damaged region. For the analyzed structures is observed that the stress
varies along the plate thickness, being zero in middle plane. The sensitivity method was
applied to a damage numerical model, where was consider stiffness and mass variation
negligible in the damage elements. This analysis was used in localization of a sequence of
damage introduced into a laminated composite plate (Cawley, 1979b). The procedure
required a large computational effort to achieve a good agreement between the numerical
model and the experimental measurements.
In the laminates structures, their dynamic characteristics are strongly dependent on the
stack and orientation of the laminate layers (Saravanos, 1996). The experimental analysis
performed in graphite/epoxy (T299/823) of a clamped-free beams which damage dimensions
less than 10% of the beam’s length, demonstrated that the global modal parameters,
frequency and damping, were not sufficient to localize the damage and other local
parameters should be also used (Saravanos, 1996).
The effect produced by damage in the fundamental modal vibration of a clamped-free beam
was investigated by Yuen (Yuen, 1985). His numerical study shows the influence of the
damage in the modal response. Its effect in the amplitude of the mode shapes was also
analyzed by Chen (Chen, 1988). In this case, the distributions of the kinetic and potential
energy were used as indicators to localize the damage.
The methodology for damage localization from the disturbances or discontinuities analysis
of the modal rotation field was proposed by Abdo et al. (Abdo, 2002). The numerical study
performed with a finite element model of a plate with different boundary conditions, show
that the modal rotation field is more sensitive than the modal displacement field on the
damage localization. This study also proved that was possible to localize damages up to 5%
reduction of local stiffness using the perturbation analysis of the modal rotation field.
The sensitivity analysis of the FRF for damage localization in beams was presented and later
improved by Lin (Lin, 1990; Lin, 1994). Recent results using experimental data demonstrated
the good performance of this method (Maia, 2006).
2.2.2. Methods based on modal curvature
The modal curvature field analysis method was proposed by Pandey (Pandey, 1991). His
method is based on the perturbation analysis of the model curvature field between
undamaged and damage state. The curvatures are computed by applying the second-order
central differences method to the modal displacements field. Contrary to the natural mode
shapes, the perturbations in the modal curvature field are coincident with the damage

Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Automotive Elements 289
region and its magnitude is proportional to its severity. A finite element model was used to
calculate the natural mode shapes of a beam for clamped-free and simply supported
boundary conditions. The damage was created by locally reducing the beam’s flexural
stiffness. The analysis shows that the change on curvature locates correctly the damage but
not quantify its severity.
It was also shown that the parameters COMAC (Co-ordenate Modal Assurance Criteria)
(Lienven, 1988) and MAC (Modal Assurance Criteria) (Wolff, 1989), calculated from modes
shapes displacements, are effective only for identification of significant damages, and the
smaller damage are masked by the superposition process. Likewise, the frequencies and
deviations in the modal curvature field were used to estimate the location of deep cracks
(Dimarogonas, 1996). According to the theory of elasticity for thin beams and plates
bending, the deformation at the surface is proportional to its curvature (Timoshenko, 1959).
The measurement of the modal deformation field was suggested to identify the damages
position. The deformation field is a better indicator of damage location than the modal
displacement field (Yao, 1992; Chen, 1994; Yan, 1996). Same conclusion was presented by
Chang (Chang, 1993), who compared the sensitivity of the several modal parameters.
The formulation of the model of damage index is based on the modal curvature field
information. The damage index correlates the curvature field before and after the
introduction of damage at each of the structure segments (Stubbs, 1995). Its average
deviation from the normal distribution of the damage index is used as an indicator to
identify the most likely of damage region.
The extension of the curvature method at all frequencies was proposed by Sampaio et al.
(Sampaio, 1999). The changes in curvature of the frequency response functions (FRF), before
and after the introduction the damage, are used to identify its location. The numerical
simulations show that the method is most effective for the frequency band up to the first
natural frequency or anti-resonance. Its comparison with the amplitude difference of the
curvatures and the damage index method proved the superior performance of the method.
The procedure was tested using experimental data measure from a concrete bridge, where
was created four levels of damage in four different positions. Despite the greater
effectiveness of the method, only the most severe case of damage was identified. Similar
results were obtained with other methods.
Based on modal curvatures field analysis, Ratcliffe (Ratcliffe, 1997) developed a new
procedure that doesn’t require the previous knowledge of the structure behavior. The
calculation of the modal curvature field is performed by applying the Laplacian operator to
natural modes shapes. The localization of the damage is identified from the discontinuity or
perturbation in the computed curvature field. Numerical simulations derived from finite
element analysis allowed to identify the damage for the case of 10% thickness reduction in
the section of a beam. In order to improve the sensibility of this technique, the authors
presented a modified version of this method, which called the damage detection gapped
smoothing method (Yoon, 2005). The difference between the smooth and the original modal
curvatures profile is used, being smooth profile obtained by adjusting a third degree
polynomial to the experimental data.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 290
The application of this new technique to numerical modes shapes made possible the
localization of damage up to 0.5% reduction of the beam thickness. It was also concluded
that the effectiveness of the damage location is greatest for the fundamental mode shape and
improves with increasing spatial resolution data. The experimental demonstration of the
procedure was performed on a steel beam with a local damage, created by a cut along the
cross section of the beam direction and with half thickness depth. For the first two natural
modes was successfully identified the location of the damage. However, the low accuracy in
the results led the authors to suggest the electrical strain gages to be used as an alternative
technique for measuring the curvature. Direct measurement of the curvature of the natural
modes of vibration of beams was proven to have superior performance in the localization of
damages (Change, 1994).
The damage detection gapped smoothing method was applied to experimental mode shapes
of a composite beam in order to locate delamination (Ratcliffe, 1998). The high sensitivity of
this method was also demonstrated by localizing the damage in a steel beam, equivalent to
0.8% reduction in thickness (Ratcliffe, 2000). The application of hybrid techniques for the
extraction of the smoothing curvature field, allowed the sensitivity improvement of this
method (Yoon, 2001). The comparison between the experimental mode shapes and
corresponded analytical ones, allows the localization of the damage (Yoon, 2001). Later, this
method was applied to locate defects or delaminations in laminated composite plates (Yoon,
2005). In this case, the structural irregularity index, used to localized damage, derives from
damage detection gapped smoothing method. The procedure can be applied to a response at
any fixed frequency, but it is preferable to use the information from a frequency band. In
this latter case, the structural irregularity index is analyzed statistically to serve as reference
in the identification of damage position. The numerical simulations using the finite element
method proved the effectiveness of this procedure. However, only the border of the damage
position can be identified. This technique was tested on damage laminated plates.
The methodology was unable to find the delaminations created artificially on the plates
during manufacturing process by the introduction sheet of Teflon layer. The results show a
superior performance of frequency band response method when compared with single
modal response method, as result of canceling the measurement errors through the
accumulative process.
2.2.3. Methods based on the dynamic measurement of stiffness or flexibility
As variant of the curvature method and having the change of local stiffness due to the
damage, it was suggested the use new methodologies based on measurement of the
structure dynamic stiffness (Yoon, 2005; Change, 1994). The differences in the structural
stiffness matrix between undamage and damage cases is use to detect and locate cracks in
structures [48]. Further, the method of the stiffness matrix error, defined by the difference of
the stiffness matrix between the analytical/numerical model and experimental data, it was
proposed to detect damage in the case of a large variation of stiffness (Park, 1988). For small
variations, the same author proposed the use of a weight function by including others
modal parameters. However, a large number of mode shapes are needed to increase the

Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Automotive Elements 291
effectiveness of this method (Gysin, 1986). Indeed, in experimental modal analysis only the
lowest frequency modes are measured. Furthermore, the analytical stiffness matrix should
be representative of the experimental model. The combination of these two limitations will
affect the precision of the method and conditions on its practical application. To overcome
these limitations, it was proposed the differences flexibility method (Pandey, 1994; Pandey,
1995). This normalized model of the flexibility matrix was successfully tested for damages
localization in underwater platforms (Rubin, 1983). The advantage of using the flexible
matrix is in the accuracy of the estimating this matrix coefficients using a small number of
mode shapes (Pandey, 1994). The flexibility matrix is defined as the inverse of the stiffness
matrix. Thus, reduction in rigidity produce increased flexibility in the structure. Indeed, an
approximation of the flexible matrix can be obtained from the experimental modal analysis.
The structural damage can be detected and located from disturbances in the matrix of
flexibility. Numerical and experimental results obtained in beams established the
effectiveness of this methodology (Pandey, 1995). In this work, the damage was identified
based on local maximum analysis, computed from the difference between the flexibility
matrices of the original and damage structure. Sequences of five damage cases, created in
two different locations of the beam, were located and gradual evolution of its severity
identified. However, for the case of multiple damages it was only possible to identify the
location of the most dominant.
2.2.4. Methods based on wavelets transform
The methods based on natural modes shapes and its spatial derivatives prove its
effectiveness using numerical data. However, the success of these techniques is affected by
the noise present in experimental data (Gentile, 2003). A new research domain of structural
damage is the application Wavelets transform to extract the signal spatial derivatives
components. This has the advantage of identifying small changes or discontinuities in the
signal, without the propagation of noise, such as in the common differentiation techniques.
The identification of singularities in the distribution of the signal components can be used to
detect the location of damages. The study of the most appropriate technique for finding
cracks in beams based on Wavelets signal processing was presented by Rucka and Wilde
(Rucka, 2006). The proposed technique allows the position identification of the damage
without the previous knowledge of the structure behavior or the use of mathematical
models. Several damages with different degrees of severity were investigated based on the
optical measurement of the beams bending profile. The damage is located by identifying the
local maxima of the signal components for each profile (Rucka, 2006). The Gaussian and
Coifet Wavelet functions show to be the most effective in localizing the slot, up to 27%
section reduction of the beam thickness.
The comparison of differentiation process among Wavelets transform and several other
differential operators, to calculate the curvature mode shape and sequent location of
damage in beams, was presented by Messina (Messina, 2004). The differential operators
integrate a low-pass filter to reduce the unwanted high frequency noise. This study reveals

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 292
the perturbation on the low frequencies signal produced by the use of strong filter, which
becomes clearer for higher order derivatives. The Fourier transform filter, the weighted least
squares, Lanczos's differentiator filters and Gaussian Wavelets differentiator filter
techniques were investigated to calculate the curvatures from the modal displacement field
contaminated by Gaussian noise. For the computed curvatures field is observed similar
results using all the techniques. However, the profile curvature obtained using the Gaussian
Wavelet transform presents coarse result for the undamaged region. In this case, the
curvature fields will present greater number of disturbances, making difficult the damage
2.3. Quantification of the damage severity
The ultimate level of the damage characterization is the quantification of stiffness decrease
and estimation of the damage real dimensions. The procedure requires a high accuracy in
evaluating the structural response. The quantification stiffness in the damage region can be
estimated from the local variation of the curvature or using mathematical models. With
respect to area affected by the damage, this can be assessed by analyzing the contours of
local disturbances, normally, requires the use of dedicate digital image processing
2.3.1. Methods based on the sensitivities of modal parameters
The sensitivities method of the modal parameters was used to localize and quantify the
severity of damage in a discrete system with multiple degrees of freedom (Zhu, 2005). The
sensitivity of the natural frequencies and the modal displacements, modal rotations and
modal curvature fields were compared in order to evaluate the effectiveness in the damage
localization. The numerical simulations of a mass-spring model with 10 degrees of freedom
showed that the modal curvature field is the more sensitive to the damage, while the modal
rotation is a better indicator of its position. A procedure defined in two steps was proposed
to locate and quantify the severity of damages. First, the damage is located from the
perturbations analysis of the modal curvature field. Next, the damage severity is estimate
using a limited number of measured frequencies. The methodology was investigated by
using the experimental analysis of different damage scenarios in a periodic model of a
building with three degrees of freedom. The results are considered satisfactory for medium
damage severity (13.12% - 26.74%). This author concluded that the quantification of the
damage severity increases with the number of natural frequencies used in the calculations.
Deviations in the results are pointed to experimental measurement errors.
2.3.2. Methods based on the measurement of modal curvatures fields
The effectiveness of the methods based on the modal curvature field is determined by the
quality measurements imposed. Typically, the modal curvature is obtained through the
application numerical differentiation techniques to experimental modal displacement field.
As a result, the high frequency experimental noise is amplified and propagates through this

Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Automotive Elements 293
process and has an strong impact on the final quality of the results. Alternatively, the direct
measurement of the curvature has the advantage of avoiding the numerical differentiation
of the data with consequent improvement in the efficacy of the methods.
The method for damage localization and quantify its severity on a sandwich beam, by
measuring the curvature of the mode shapes using piezoelectric transducers, was presented
by Lestari et al. (Lestari, 2005). The procedure is based on curvature difference between the
original and damaged structure, measured directly using 31 piezoelectric sensors
(polyvinylidenefluoride film) glued and equally spaced on the structure surface. The natural
frequencies and modal curvature field of a clamped-free sandwich beam with a local
damage caused artificially: the first – by removing the nucleus (to simulate the debonding
between the core and the skins) and, second – by crushing the lower interface core / skin (to
simulate the crushing of the core). The difference between curvature (damage factor) and
the sum of the differences between curvatures, allow identifying the approximate of the
damage location. The results also show that the crushing produces greater reduction in
structural stiffness than separation between core and skin. The estimative of the damage
region stiffness variation was obtained from the difference of first six modal curvature
fields. It was observed a local stiffness reduction for the delamination damage between 30%
and 60% and for the crushing damage of 40% to 90%. The disparity in some of the values is
justified by errors associated to the measurement of curvature field.
2.3.3. Methods based on full-field measurement of displacement or rotation field by
interferometric techniques
The optical interferometry techniques have been widely investigated in the last four
decades, robust tools and have proven to be very effective in non-destructive inspection of
structures (Lee, 1991; Sirohi, 1993; Hung, 1997a; Hung, 1999; Hung, 1998; Sirohi, 1999;
Gomes, 2000; Santos, 2004)). Its advantages are undeniable compared to classical techniques
for the inspection of composite materials (Lee, 1991). The ESPI (Electronic Speckle Pattern
Interferometry) and Shear (Shearography) techniques are two examples currently used for
nondestructive inspection of composite structures. These are full-field techniques for
measuring the information on a surface and allow easily locating disturbance in structural
response. The ESPI technique measures the absolute value of the displacements of the
surface, including the rigid body. The principle of the Shear technique was first
demonstrated by Leendertz and Butters (Leendertz, 1973) through the construction of the
Michelson optical interferometer. The Shear technique is only sensitive to the object
displacements gradient, which can assumed, for the case of small displacements, as a good
approximation to the surface rotation field (Kreis, 2005). Due to their properties and
insensitivity to rigid body movement, this technique is often used for the localization of
delaminations in composite structures. Comparative analysis of the measurements quality
between the ESPI and Shear techniques for internal damage identification was studied by
several authors (Hung, 1997; Gomes, 2000). In ESPI technique, the fringes produced by rigid
body motion makes difficult its interpretation and may mask the presence of damage.
Consequently, the Shear technique is more suitable for damage localization. In this case, the

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 294
internal damage is reveal by appearing two juxtaposed lobes of concentric fringes
representative of local disturbance.
Contrary to ESPI technique, the Shear measures directly the surface rotation field and
eliminates the need of the numerical differentiation. Another major advantage is the
simplification of the optical setup, which allow the use of low coherence length Lasers. Also,
the optical setup can be built in a very compact form, giving a greater stability to the
measurements and isolation to external disturbances (Gomes, 2000). In addition to the
damage localization in composite structures, several other applications can be found in the
literature including: the static and dynamic measurement of the rotation field and the
measurement of surface residual stress. (Santos, 2004; Kreis, 2005; Hung, 1978; Lùkberg,
1997; Hung, 1997b; Devesa, 2002; Pedrini, 1997).
The damage identification using shearography technique is based on comparison of two
states of the object deformation. The type of excitation will depend on the type of defect and
the material used. The success of such techniques will be influence by several factors: the
material properties, type of defect and method of excitation. The thermal, the vacuum or
transient excitations are most effective techniques to the reveal the inter-layer defects (Hung,
1997a; Gomes, 2000; Santos, 2004; Ambu, 2006). However, the best choice is typically defined
by a heuristic process in which the previous experience influences the selection of the
excitation method. The analysis of the fringes obtained by ESPI techniques was used to
investigate damages in laminated thin plates (Ambu, 2006). Damage was induced by the
impact of metallic spheres with different masses. The thermal excitation with infrared lamp
was used and the plate out-of-plane displacement field was measured. The damage size and
position were estimated from the raw fringes analysis, using digital image processing
techniques. The results revealed that the ESPI technique is less sensitive to damage in
relation to the holographic techniques. Both of these optical techniques can identify well the
damage location. However, the comparison with ultrasound (C-scan) measurements reveals
that the interferometric techniques are inadequate to located damages with depths greater
than 0.7 mm. The introduction of the phase calculation methods on the classic
interferometric techniques permit to improve the spatial resolution of the measurements.
The phase map and the corresponding raw fringes, measured with the ESPI technique, were
used to locate and quantify delaminations in a fiberglass reinforced polyester plates
(Richardson 1998). The damages created by impact were analyzed by C-Scan and by
sectioning the matrix. Both methods were used as reference for the analysis of other
techniques. The results show a good correlation between optical techniques and reference
The propagation elastic waves in plates and pipes using holographic interferometry
techniques were proposed by several authors (Aprahamian, 1971; Fallstrom, 1989a;
Fallstrom, 1989b; Olofsson, 1994; Olofsson, 1996; Fallstrom, 1996; Fallstrom, 1998). A double
pulse Laser technique is used to measure the displacements in isotropic plates (Aprahamian,
1971; Olofsson, 1994), anisotropic plates (Fallstrom, 1989a; Fallstrom, 1989b; Olofsson, 1994;
Fallstrom, 1996; Fallstrom, 1998) and anisotropic tubes (Olofsson, 1994; Olofsson, 1996). The
holographic interferometry and the flexural waves propagation were also used to

Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Automotive Elements 295
investigate the debonding in the interface areas of ceramic-metal plate (Conrad, 2001). The
quality of the bond between the two materials influences the wave propagation of transients
bending waves. These are produced by a piezoelectric exciter mounted near of plate’s
surface. Distinct damage models were introduced into three plates, simulating the interface
discontinuities and cracks in the ceramic plate. A YAG pulse Laser with double cavity was
used to generate two pulses with adjustable intervals between 1 and 80 s. The two
interferometric pulses were recorded on a holographic plate by changing the angle of
incidence. Afterword, the interferograms were reconstructed and the phase map is extracted
by using the phase-shift technique. The damages located by identifying perturbations in the
phase map of the wave propagation. However, the complexity of fringes distribution
observed in the phase map doesn’t permit the interpretation of the damaged area.
The sandwich panels removed from the wing of an airplane model were used to investigate
the damage, created by low-speed impact (Ruzek, 2006). The skin made of carbon fiber and
core honeycomb, suffered several low energy impacts (10J - 40J). The Shear and C-scan
techniques were used for non-destructive inspection of the panels and with the purpose of
visually comparing the results. Based on the measurements acquired with Shear technique
were possible to identify very well the damage location and size. By contrast, the C-Scan
technique, due to their operating principle has proved to be less suitable for such structures.
In addition to be more time consuming, presents difficulties in dealing with the multiple
discontinuities in the material, rupture / indentations in the skin and distortion of the
honeycomb core produced by the impact.
The application of ESPI and Shear techniques to the analysis of debondings in the interface
region of thin coatings was investigated by Gomes et al. (Gomes, 2000). The thermal
excitation was used to reveal the damage position and its size. The phase maps present
similar results for both techniques. However, a superior fringe contrast was observed in the
measurements with Shear technique. A technical review of Shear technique and its several
applications to composite materials was presented by Hung et al. (Hung, 1999). The
measurement of residual stresses, strain field and damage localization are some of the
mentioned applications using this technique.
A modified version of the Mach-Zehnder optical interferometer was developed by Pedrini et
al. (Pedrini, 1996) for measuring the modal rotation field in plates. The two images created
by the interferometer are sheared and rotated before being combined, in order to later
compute the phase map. A double pulse Ruby Laser was used to record modal rotation field
of a circular plate. The same technique was then used in localizing damages in a sandwich
plate with Nomex core and fiberglass skins (Santos, 2004). The two damages were artificially
created by removing 2.5 cm diameter of skin and 1 cm diameter of core. An impact hammer
with electromagnetic drive was used to produce transient excitation of the structure. The
time plate response was recorded for posterior damage localization. The smallest damage
was located based on fringes concentration analysis. However, larger damages produce a
higher number of fringes, becoming difficulty to distinguish them form fringes produce by
the natural vibration of the structure. These and other difficulties have led other authors to
develop alternative procedures for nondestructive inspection of damage. The high speed

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 296
measurements using phase shift technique was considered in order to reduce phase errors
and improve the quality of the data (Davila, 2003). The procedure is based on the technical
implementation of the temporal phase and the application of phase unwrapping algorithm
for recording in time the structure dynamic response.
The combination of ultrasound excitation technique with pulsed interferometric technique
for investigating internal damages in the plates was developed by Cernadas et al. (Cernadas,
2001). The ultrasonic elastic waves (Lamb waves) can penetrate deep into the material to
reveal the surface damages. These are detected through the use of high resolution optical
techniques. The measurement by real-time holography has already been used to identify
minor cuts and holes in plates (Schroeder, 1996). The ESPI technique and pulsed Laser
method can be used to measure freeze in time the bending wave propagation (Mast, 2001).
However, the high speed and small amplitude of the ultrasonic elastic waves requires a
good insulation of exterior disturbances. The use of the ESPI technique with double pulse
laser has been suggested to solve the stability problems in the measurement (Cernadas,
2001). A piezoelectric transducer coupled to the plate surface is used to generate surface
acoustic waves, Rayleigh waves that propagate along the structure surface. These waves can
also be generated remotely by strong Laser pulses. However, to generate this Rayleigh
waves with amplitude in the measurement range of the ESPI technique, requires the
application of high energy on the surface and its protection to prevent being damage. In this
study, two types of damage were introduced into an aluminum plate. A blind hole and cross
section cut were generated artificially in the plate. The sequence of two images, separated by
1.5 s, was used to measure the plate displacement field caused by a propagation chain of
the Rayleigh waves, introduced through the fourth Laser pulses. Through the disturbances
fringes analysis was possible to identify the damages. The introduction of the phase
calculation into the displacement measurement allows improving the quality of the results
(Cristina, 2003). This new methodology was used to measure the real and imaginary
components of the displacement field generated by the propagation of Rayleigh waves.
Based on these two components was possible identified damage the position and size of
damage, even in the situation of poor quality fringes.
Author details
Hernani Lopes
Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Department of Applied Mechanics, Bragança, Portugal
João Ribeiro
Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Department of Mechanical Technology, Bragança, Portugal
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Chapter 12
3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection
of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels
Arjun Yogeswaran and Pierre Payeur
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
1.1. Context and motivation
Quality control in the manufacturing industry has traditionally been performed manually
by workers. As manufacturing increases in speed and volume through the introduction of
automation, the human worker becomes a limiting factor in speed, accuracy, and
consistency. In the automotive industry, quality control is critical to ensure that automotive
body parts meet predefined standards. Identifying deformations, such as undesired dings
and dents on panels, and marking them so that they are repaired while still on the assembly
line is essential. In current industrial settings, the procedure for identifying surface defects
on automotive body panels often requires a laborious manual surface rubbing operation.
This time-consuming process is difficult for a human, especially when dealing with small
deformations that require close inspection, and may result in a decreased accuracy when the
repetitive task is performed over the course of an entire work shift. Automation of quality
control could significantly improve the accuracy and speed of the assembly line, thus
increasing the number of panels inspected within an allotted time, maximizing the number
of accurately detected defects, and minimizing the number of false detections.
To fully automate this process, a system would have to analyze the surface of the body part
to be inspected, determine the position of deformations, and mark those deformations on
the body part. This chapter focuses on the analysis of 3D surfaces and automatic detection of
deformations. One important contribution of this work comes from the imposed
requirement that this system must be able to detect deformations without knowledge of the
ideal shape of the part, meaning it cannot use a master work or CAD model for comparison.
Some automated deformation detection techniques focus on the difference between the
scanned model and an existing ideal model or master work (Newman & Jain 1995;
Lilienblum et al. 2000). Certain challenges lie within this approach. The first constraint is

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 304
that a very precise ideal model must be available, because small faults in the master work
can result in erroneously detected defects during execution. The second challenge is related
to the registration of the scanned part with the ideal model. Due to vibrations on the
assembly line and slight inconsistencies in the acquired model, inaccurate registration may
occur resulting in incorrectly detected defects. Also, if panels of different models are
processed on the same assembly line, or a new piece is introduced to the system, significant
calibration and set up is required to synchronize the master work with the acquired model.
Because of these difficulties, this chapter introduces a more generic and robust technique
which does not require an ideal model.
1.2. Objectives
This chapter deals primarily with the design of a deformation detection system. Its
requirements are to identify deformations of interest over the surface of automotive body
parts, with minimal human interaction and independently from the type of acquisition
system used. The deformations of interest are dings and dents, where dings are surface
deformations which protrude from the surface and dents are depressions into the surface.
This chapter focuses on deformation detection when no ideal model of the automotive part
is provided, similar to an approach which is alluded to by Döring et al. (Döring et al. 2004)
and explored by Chen (Chen 2008). Since there is no CAD model of a master work to
compare the measured model to, the deformation detection must be done without
knowledge of the expected surface and requires certain assumptions to be made based on
common characteristics of surface deformations compared to the characteristics of an
undeformed surface. However, not all characteristics can be assumed, known, or easily
defined. Therefore some basic parameters need to be set by the operator to provide the
system with a minimal knowledge of the approximate size or scale of the deformations that
the manufacturer wants to detect and eliminate from its products. This is not unrealistic, as
the operator generally has a clear idea of the approximate range of sizes for the
deformations to be detected.
Given these requirements, a system is proposed which analyzes the digital 3D model of an
automotive part collected along the assembly line, determines the locations of only the
deformations of interest, and classifies them as dings or dents. Areas of significant surface
variation could be deformations. But other features of an automotive body panel such as
aesthetic curves and door handles, or inaccurate surface measurements such as acquisition
artifacts and noise, also represent surface curves that must not be falsely detected as dings
or dents. The deformation detection system is comprised of a surface shape analysis phase
to extract areas of interest, a segmentation phase to group areas containing pieces of
deformations together into segments, and a classification phase to determine which
segments contain deformations and which contain design features.
A deformation detection pipeline is proposed, which combines an enhanced octree-based
feature extraction, with segmentation and classification to extract deformations from a 3D
mesh of an automotive surface panel. This pipeline supports multi-resolution analysis of 3D

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 305
models, providing the capability of extracting deformations regardless of the resolution or
scale of the model, and relies on intuitively adjustable parameters for the operator to target
the feature extraction towards desired characteristics of the deformations.
2. Literature review
The process to automatically determine the location of a defect on an automotive body part
requires several steps, some of which are still complex research topics. This section reviews
important research that is relevant to the topic of automated deformation detection
proposed in this chapter. In order to analyze the surface for automotive body parts, the
latter must first be digitally represented as a 3-dimensional object. Various techniques in 3D
acquisition are explored in section 2.1. To determine the location of deformations in the
digitized 3-dimensional surface, the surface must be analyzed for certain characteristics.
Surface shape analysis is discussed in section 2.2.
2.1. 3D acquisition
In order to analyze the surface of a real-world object in 3-dimensions, it must be scanned
and converted into digital 3-dimensional data. Laser scanners are very common and highly
accurate 3D acquisition tools (Parthasarathy et al. 1982; Sequeira et al. 1995; Marszalec &
Myllyla 1997; Gokturk et al. 2004; Blais et al. 2007). The latter are able to produce high
resolution, high accuracy scans. However they are usually expensive systems that take a
long time to complete a full scan, and often require some mechanical system to move the
laser and acquire readings before accumulation into a point cloud. For lower cost, lower
scan times, and minimal mechanical complexity, stereoscopic vision systems are a very
popular way of digitizing a 3-dimensional scene (Murray & Jennings 1997; Murray & Little
2000; Se et al. 2001). If prominent features are lacking in a scene, such as on the surface of a
smooth automotive body part, these construction techniques may fail due to a lack of usable
points. One popular technique to overcome the limitations of using traditional stereoscopic
imaging is to acquire 3-dimensional models using structured light scanners. This type of
sensor projects a set of artificial features onto a model or scene that is being scanned, and
then uses a vision system to acquire the model in 3D. Most structured lighting systems use a
single camera along with a projector to acquire the 3D points (Rocchini et al. 2001; Zhang et
al. 2002), or combine a pattern projector with a standard stereo pair of cameras to avoid
calibration with the projector (Payeur & Desjardins 2009).
A recent trend in 3D sensing is the use of Microsoft’s Kinect, which is a low-cost portable
sensor that provides 3D visualization of a scene. Using structured light principles, an
infrared laser projector generates artificial features onto a scene (which are invisible to the
human eye), and a CMOS sensor reconstructs a scene through vision techniques. High
quality scene reconstruction using the Kinect sensor has been studied (Shahram et al. 2011;
Yan & Didier 2011). Relatively high quality reconstruction of real-world scenes can be
achieved, yet its accuracy is still too low to detect the slight variations in an automotive

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 306
panel surface that constitute deformations. Also, due to possible holes and inaccuracies in
reconstruction using a single image, several frames of reconstructed scenes must be stitched
together and heavily post-processed to provide a full reconstruction of an automotive part.
Though preliminary work with the Kinect is promising, more research must be done to
adapt its use to detecting the fine contours of an automotive panel for deformation
detection. Given the current state of the technology, and the purposes of this work, the laser
scanner remains to be the most accurate way to scan 3D models.
2.2. 3D surface shape analysis
The most critical component of a surface deformation detection system is surface analysis to
locate the defects in question. In the current context, no ideal model of the automotive part
is provided, therefore the algorithm has no a priori knowledge of what the surface should
look like without deformations. Advanced surface shape analysis techniques must be
performed to determine the locations of probable deformations.
Given that the 3-dimensional data can be converted from a range image to a 2-dimensional
image where each pixel intensity represents the depth of that point on the object from the
viewpoint, features can be extracted and images can be segmented using traditional 2D
image processing techniques. Well-known edge detectors, such as the Sobel and Canny
operators, can highlight the areas that belong to features (Faugeras 1993). The efficacy of
such algorithms varies greatly, since determining the peaks and valleys in histograms with
significant noise or varying characteristics is difficult.
The k-means algorithm is a very well-known clustering algorithm that partitions a dataset
into a specified number, k, of clusters (Plataniotis & Venetsanopoulos 2000). However,
selecting the value of k is most important, and in the case of an unknown number of
deformations, this value cannot be known for sure. Unseeded region growing (Plataniotis &
Venetsanopoulos 2000) can overcome some of the problems with k-means algorithms by not
requiring any initial knowledge. Similar to the limitations of thresholding in edge detection,
gradually changing pixel intensities between actual regions of the image may not be
sufficient for accurate segmentation.
These techniques can all be extended to 3 dimensions by using points or voxels instead of
pixels, and adjacency can be determined by distance or connectivity in a grid or tree, as is
done by Palagyi and Kuba (Palagyi & Kuba 1999). Also, the data being used as the intensity
value in an image can be redefined as distance in a range image or 3-dimensional surface
deformation metrics such as standard deviation of normals or a curvedness value
(Koenderink & Doorn 1992; Dorai & Jain 1997).
Various techniques from the field of 3D data analysis can be used for the purpose of
deformation detection. Simple deformations in a mesh can resemble outliers on a smooth
surface. Using noise removal techniques to identify areas of noise-like characteristics can be
beneficial to determining the location of the defect. Schall et al. propose a noise removal

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 307
method that also provides applications in outlier removal (Schall et al. 2005). The statistical
method estimates the density of each area of the point cloud, and uses the neighbouring
points to adapt a probable surface to each point. Since points are moved to their most
probable location along a surface, the spatial density of the resulting point cloud is relatively
consistent throughout the surface of the object. An outlier point exists where the spatial
density in a surrounding is too low. Therefore a basic threshold can determine outliers.
Though effective, this algorithm is dependent on the sampling density, its parameter
selection is not intuitive and may cause unpredictable performance, and will fail when
deformations do not resemble outliers.
The moving least-squares surface reconstruction technique proposed by Mederos et al.
(Mederos et al. 2003) uses a hierarchical segmentation technique that finds redundant points
such that the point cloud density can be reduced before surface reconstruction. This
segmentation technique results in clusters of points, where the surface variation within each
cluster is minimal and the boundaries between those clusters could define a significant
deformation on the surface. Though computationally expensive, analyzing the eigenvalues
and eigenvectors of the covariance matrix of a cluster of points can estimate local surface
properties (Hoppe et al. 1992; Shaffer & Garland 2001). A binary space partitioning tree is
used to segment the model into clusters of points that lie on surfaces of low variation, where
subdivision is based on the flatness criterion, which represents variation within a group of
points, as described by Pauly et al. (Pauly et al. 2002). Such an algorithm is effective at
determining the characteristics of a model for surface reconstruction or resampling, but
requires an extension to be used for efficient feature extraction, since the boundaries must be
determined instead of just the clusters. The use of a binary space partitioning tree is very
effective to separate the mesh, but tends to become too deep of a tree to traverse efficiently,
since each node can only be subdivided into 2 nodes at a time.
Woo et al. (Woo et al. 2002) introduce a technique based on octree structures, and use
recursive subdivision of the volume of a 3D mesh to identify features. It removes segments
of the mesh as the octree is generated, and leaves parts of the mesh that belong to features in
the final octree data structure. It requires a model with a reconstructed surface and
partitions the model into subsections which represent varying levels, or scales, of features.
Surface normal vectors can be calculated for all triangles composing the surface, and
ultimately for each point by averaging the normals of the triangles that the point belongs to.
Variations in the orientation of the surface within a given region are estimated from the
standard deviation of normal vectors within that region. This method facilitates the
partitioning process. All of the points that make up the surface of the object are initially
added to the root of the tree structure. The standard deviation of their normals is calculated,
and compared to a threshold. First the mean normal is computed:

= ∑ N
where n is the number of points at the node, N

is the mean normal, and N
is the unit normal
of point i. Then the standard deviation, σ , of the normals can be estimated as:

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 308

σ =
∑ (N
- N

2 n
= _
∑ (x
- x)
+∑ (y
- y)
+∑ (z
- z)
2 n
A threshold must be defined for the subdivision as the maximum standard deviation
allowed in a volume before it should be further divided. This threshold is defined by
the user. If the standard deviation is larger than the threshold, the volume represented
by the root is divided into 8 octants represented by 8 children being added to the root.
The points from the root are redistributed based on their spatial location into each of
the 8 octants, and thus into each of the 8 children of the root. This process is repeated
recursively for each of the children, and for their children, and so on until either there
are no children remaining, or a sufficient level of feature details is discovered. The
depth of the tree determines how detailed the feature level is. Figure 1 details the
recursive process of the feature segmentation at various scales. The final structure
provides a tree where the points are distributed amongst the tree nodes. Leaves at
greater depths represent finer detailed features of the mesh contained in smaller
volumes. Leaves at lesser depths represent larger scale features contained in larger
Woo et al.‘s technique is effective, yet because it uses a single threshold value throughout the
entire tree, its ability to detect features can be unpredictable. A feature has to sufficiently
affect the standard deviation of the surface normals across the selected volume for the
method to investigate the mesh at a higher resolution. If this is not the case then the feature
is not identified. The criteria for setting the threshold is that it must be high enough such
that smooth curvatures and noise are not detected, but low enough such that the
deformation features are detected. This remains a subjective criterion that varies with the
point cloud. Since standard deviation is used, it is hard to find values which meet the
defined criteria.
On the other hand, the technique generates broad shallow trees which are easier to traverse,
as opposed to deep narrow trees generated by binary space partitioning methods such as
those in (Shaffer & Garland 2001; Mederos et al. 2003). This allows analysis at higher
resolutions, with reduced computational load. The octree representation allows features to
be represented in the point cloud dataset as well as in a volumetric grid, giving the
flexibility of using a variety of techniques for added segmentation.
Pauly et al. present a technique that allows feature extraction from a 3D object composed of
surfaces, at various detail levels (Pauly et al. 2003). Weights are assigned to each point in
the point cloud, representing the amount of local variation in the surface normals. At
different scales, different local neighbourhood sizes are used. Introducing the idea of feature
persistence, a threshold can be selected, such that local maxima weights over that threshold
can be considered feature nodes. As a feature persistently exceeds that threshold,
across multiple scales, it can be classified as a strong feature, rather than only a small local

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 309

Figure 1. a) Octree segmentation subdivisioning flowchart, b) an example octree where the top node
represents the entire mesh, and nodes at deeper levels represent subdivisions of the mesh at
proportionally higher resolutions.
Results show that this method performs well under noise and is effective at identifying
prominent features. Also, the idea of feature persistence is interesting, where prominent
features appear over multiple scales, and can be very important in using multiresolution
information to identify important features.
Vosselman et al. (Vosselman et al. 2004) exploit the knowledge of ordered point clouds in the
form of scan lines, and combine various techniques to segment point clouds by recognizing
geometric shapes and flat smooth surfaces for the analysis of industrial and city scans from
LIDAR data. Each scan line is broken into line segments based on orientation and proximity,
and a plane-of-best-fit equation is calculated. Adjacent scan lines are compared based on
some similarity criterion to be connected as a planar surface or other shapes such as spheres
and cylinders. The dependency on ordered point cloud data is a limitation of the technique,
since data can come from various sources and may not always be in the form of scan lines.
Also, the very distinct shapes that are being extracted are effective in scans of a city or in an
industrial setting, but the techniques are less suited to the more curved and variable surfaces
of automotive body parts, since such shapes do not fall into the category of basic geometric
Jagannathan and Miller (Jagannathan & Miller 2007) use a metric known as curvedness
(Koenderink & Doorn 1992; Dorai & Jain 1997) for segmentation, to extract regions of the
mesh with high curvature. The curvedness is calculated for each point in the mesh. Using
iterative graph dilation and filtering of outlier curvedness values, the mesh is broken up into
sub-meshes with similar curvedness values. Based on the results shown, the algorithm has
(a) (b)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 310
great success in segmenting 3D models with very large distinct form changes. However, it
might be difficult to predict the success of this algorithm when faced with finding subtle
shallow deformations on the surface of a flat or curved mesh, especially when dealing with
significant noise and acquisition artifacts.
Döring et al. tackle a similar problem to this work, by detecting deformations on car body
panels (Döring et al. 2004). The deformation extraction is only briefly explained as finding
the differences between the point cloud and an inertial surface approximation of a low
polynomial degree. The experiments in this paper work under similar assumptions to this
chapter, in that there is no ideal model or a priori knowledge to compare to the model being
analyzed. Surface deformations must be extracted by analysis of the model surface against
what is assumed to be a smooth ideal surface instead of being compared to an existing
model of what the surface should look like. This chapter is more concerned with the
extraction of surface deformations than the classification, while Döring et al.’s work
emphasizes the classification of the feature as one of many types of known deformations.
3. Automated surface deformation detection
3.1. General deformation detection framework
The proposed system takes a 3D mesh as an input, and outputs the sections of the mesh which
are deformations of interest along with whether they are a ding or a dent. Given that no CAD
model of the ideal surface is considered available, the proposed system must locate and
classify the deformations of interest using assumptions based on common characteristics of
dings and dents. Since some assumptions regarding size and scale of deformations cannot be
made without more information, a minimal and intuitive set of parameters must be set by the
operator to ensure accurate detection with minimal human intervention. This also ensures that
design features of the automotive panel are not accidentally extracted as deformations, since
they are generally much larger than the deformations of interest and can easily be separated
by size and scale. The outputs of the proposed system are passed onto a robotic deformation
marking system briefly discussed in section 3.2.
The proposed system contains 3 major components, as shown in Figure 2.The surface shape
analysis component is tasked with dividing the 3D mesh into sections and analyzing each
one for the magnitude of the deformation contained in that section. The segmentation
component combines sections from the surface shape analysis which seemingly belong to
the same deformation. The classification component classifies each segment from the
segmentation as either a ding or dent, and removes segments which do not meet the criteria
of being a deformation of interest, such as vehicle design features and acquisition noise.

Figure 2. System diagram of proposed deformation detection system.

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 311
3.2. Experimental platform and setup
The more extensive research project that this work is part of involves the development of an
automated deformation detection and marking system (Borsu et al. 2010). The primary
objective is to identify deformations over an automotive panel and physically mark those
deformations while the automotive part moves along an assembly line.
The 3D acquisition subsystem provides the deformation detection subsystem with 3D point
cloud or mesh information. The deformation detection subsystem, which is the focus of this
chapter, analyzes the surface of the automotive body panel and determines the locations and
type of all deformations of interest. The robotic marking subsystem tracks the moving
automotive panel along the assembly line, and marks the deformations with a robotic arm
(Borsu 2010). The relationships between the subsystems are shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Relationship between subsystems for automated deformation detection and marking.
The automated deformation detection and marking system is created on a smaller scale in a
lab setting. This serves as a test bed for the developed techniques, and demonstrates that
they can work in a real-world setting. An image of the setup is shown in Figure 4.
To represent the idea of a moving assembly line, a PC-operated sled system is used and
simulates a shortened conveyor in a lab setting. One of several real or imitation automotive
panels is mounted on the sled system to imitate a real automotive panel. At the beginning of
the assembly line, when the automotive panel is static, a structured light sensor is used to
generate a dense 3D reconstruction of the surface of the automotive panel (Boyer 2009;
Boyer et al. 2009). The deformation detection subsystem processes this 3D data, and acquires
the location of the deformations. The panel continues moving along the sled system and is
tracked by the robotic marking system (Borsu & Payeur 2009; Borsu 2010). Then, based on
the locations automatically provided by the deformation detection subsystem, the robotic
manipulator is positioned to smoothly mark deformations on the automotive panel surface.
3.3. Data sets
A 3D acquisition system provides the only input used by the deformation detection system
to identify the location of deformations of interest. A detailed discussion of the 3D sensing

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 312

Figure 4. Experimental lab setup.
systems used for acquiring the shape of the automotive body panels is beyond the scope of
this chapter. For laboratory evaluation, a custom structured light sensor (Boyer 2009;
Boyer et al. 2009; Payeur & Desjardins 2009) is used in combination with slightly enlarged
dings and dents deformations artificially affixed on the test panels. Alternatively,
higher resolution datasets collected by industrial partners with an active laser range sensor
on real automotive panels is also used to demonstrate the capability of adaptation of the
proposed approach to different scales and its independence from the 3D acquisition
system. Surface reconstruction, performed with the ball-pivoting algorithm proposed by
Bernadini et al. (Bernardini et al. 1999), is used to generate a mesh triangulation out of the
acquired 3D points. The output of this module is provided as input to the deformation
detection subsystem, which is the starting point for the original work presented in this
Real-world test data is important to determine the effectiveness of the approach, since
any 3D acquisition system does not provide ideal meshes for this application. The reflective
characteristics of the surface, the subtle variations in its shape, and the large distance
the panel is positioned from the sensor, cause the acquisition system to introduce
an abundance of noise and acquisition artifacts. These real-world meshes serve as test
cases for non-optimal acquisition and surface characteristics resulting from the acquisition
The first real-world mesh is a desktop computer casing panel modified by hammering 3
dents into it. Though this is not an automotive part, it simulates real-world deformations on
a relatively flat surface. The panel is 20cmx15cm and each dent is circular, with dimensions

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 313
of approximately 2cm in diameter and 0.25cm in depth. The computer casing panel was
scanned at two different resolutions, with the high resolution version containing 14 626
points and the low resolution version containing 3647 points. Since it might be unrealistic to
expect an accurate extraction of deformations from this mesh, a filtered version of the low
resolution scan is created using a Laplacian smoothing filter to remove the noise while
maintaining the deformations. The meshes are shown in Figure 5 with deformations circled.
The amount of surface variation, holes along the boundaries, and noise are all visible in the
images of the computer casing panel meshes.

Figure 5. a) Indented computer casing panel, b) high resolution scan, c) low resolution scan, and
d) filtered low resolution scan, with deformations circled.
A mock car door was crafted out of cardboard, consisting of a curved body, a door handle,
and a window frame. The door is approximately 70cmx78cm. Three dings, made up of
paper were stuck to the door at various positions, where each ding is circular and
approximately 1cm in diameter and 1cm in depth. The scanned car door contains 32 202
points. A Laplacian filtered version is also used. The filtered and unfiltered versions are
shown in Figure 6 with deformations circled.
The car door is acquired well, with the deformations, door handle, surface variation and
window frame all appearing. There is lots of surface variation along the borders due to
acquisition errors, and a significant amount of noise, which may interfere with isolating the
deformations from parts of the noise as the peaks of the noise are almost as high as the
peaks of the deformations. The filtered version reduces noise levels by minimizing the peaks
and further separating them from the deformation peaks.
(c) (d)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 314

Figure 6. a) Car door sample, b) unfiltered mesh with deformations circled, and c) filtered mesh.
These real-world meshes are adequate to test the proposed system’s behavior when applied
upon meshes with noise, acquisition artifacts, and real-world characteristics. However, it
does not provide a comprehensive enough set of data to test the various situations that the
system might be exposed to. For this reason, a set of artificial test meshes were generated,
with characteristics that were not found in the acquired real-world meshes, but that may
occur in other real-world meshes. These artificial meshes resemble deformations of interest,
of various sizes and scale, under different surface conditions. These meshes also attempt to
test the functionality of the system while working under ideal acquisition scenarios where
there is no noise and no acquisition artifacts.
A flat mesh with a small dent was created as well as a flat mesh with a large ding, as shown
in Figure 7. Similarly, a curved surface mesh with a small dent and a curved mesh with a
large ding were created, as shown in Figure 8. The flat meshes are used to determine if the
designed algorithms can detect small scale as well as large scale deformations. The curved
meshes help determine if the designed algorithms can detect a deformation in spite of a
curved or uneven surface around it.

Figure 7. a) Flat mesh with small dent, b) flat mesh with large ding.
(b) (c)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 315

Figure 8. a) Curved surface with small dent, b) curved surface with large ding.
4. Octree-based surface shape analysis
The criticial component of the proposed defect detection system is its surface shape analysis
module. The goal of the latter is to break the mesh up into pieces and determine which of
those pieces likely belong to the defects in question, as shown in Figure 9.
The outcome of the methods presented in this section is the labeling of all parts of the mesh
as either belonging to a feature or not. This module does not determine what collection of
mesh pieces define a deformation, however it will determine which mesh pieces likely
contain part of a deformation. The output of the shape analysis module is therefore passed
to the segmentation phase, as depicted in Figure 2, to determine which collection of mesh
pieces defines a deformation.

Figure 9. a) Mesh with oval feature, b) mesh broken into pieces, and c) feature extraction results.
This chapter proposes an original surface shape analysis technique that is based on octrees
for the automated deformation detection framework. The octree-based technique divides the
mesh into cubic volumes and analyzes the mesh contained in those volumes to determine if
they belong to a feature. Taking inspiration from the octree-based segmentation method
proposed by Woo et al. (Woo et al. 2002), as explained in section 2.2, a number of
improvements are proposed.
The original technique represents the entire volume surrounding a point cloud in the root
node of a tree. Then, by evaluating the standard deviation of the point normals, σ, against a
threshold, it determines whether there should be a subdivision of that volume into eight
octants. When subdivided, each of the resulting octants is a volume, and is represented by a
(a) (b)
(a) (b) (c)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 316
child node. The points in the original volume are redistributed into the new octants, based
on their position, and stored in the child node which represents the new volume it belongs
to. This process is repeated for each node, until a tree of sufficient depth is generated or no
more volumes require subdivision.
The original technique is designed to find significant changes in a 3D point cloud, such as
sharp edges. However, deformation detection for dings and dents over automotive body
panels requires detection of slight variations over a smooth surface, which may not be
consistent over multiple resolutions. For this reason, the original technique must be
revisited. Two major aspects are introduced in this work to enhance the algorithm’s
flexibility and performance for the purposes of the application considered in the present
work: i) using a triangle-based analysis rather than a point-based analysis of surface shape,
and ii) defining non-uniform weighting of surface normals. These enhancements will be
discussed in sections 4.1 and 4.2, respectively. A third improvement is also proposed, that
uses the octree to aggregate multi-resolution information into performing the feature
extraction after the tree generation is complete. This will be discussed in section 4.3.
4.1. Triangle-based analysis
The original method (Woo et al. 2002) operates directly on the 3D point cloud, with
knowledge of the reconstructed surface, to calculate the appropriate values for subdivision
of the octree. The calculation of the point normal uses all the triangles surrounding
the point, and the subdivision of the octree relies on the standard deviation of the point
normals contained inside each node. The triangles surrounding a point provide several
pieces of information about the surface, yet reducing this information to a point normal
using an averaging calculation acts as a smoothing filter, inherently inducing a loss of
valuable surface information as shown in Figure 10. In the context of the present work
where deformations to be detected are of a small size compared to the remainder of the
panel surface curves, such a filter should not be included directly in the feature extraction

Figure 10. a) Point normal describing a flat surface, b) same point normal describing a non-flat surface,
c) triangle surface normals describing a flat surface, and d) different triangle surface normals describing
a non-flat surface.
a) b)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 317
technique. For these reasons, a first improvement that is proposed consists of using more
information to describe the surface of a model by relying on the triangles for surface
calculations rather than on points.
4.2. Non-uniform weighting of surface normals
The second strategy to enhance the performance of the algorithm proposed in (Woo et al.
2002) consists in using information about the size of the triangles represented by the surface
normals to improve the standard deviation, σ, calculation from Eq. 2.
When using 3D scanning that provide a non-uniform sampling density, the original
technique will assign equal weight to every point. As a result, there might be more points to
describe a certain region within a volume, and the variation in that region is more strongly
accounted for in the σ calculation than in other regions, even if there is no disparity in the
surface area represented by these regions, as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11. Non-uniformly distributed scan points. The right half of mesh contributes more to the
standard deviation value than the left half due to higher density of points/triangles.
A solution to this problem is achieved by using the area of each triangle as a weight to
calculate the mean normal and σ values. This approach helps to minimize the effect of small
noisy areas, to overcome the effect of non-uniformly distributed points, and to provide a
more accurate representation of the surface variation over the region being analyzed.
First, the area of each triangle is calculated:
× v
| (3)
where vi1 and vi2 are any two of the edge vectors that define a triangle, Ti. Then the weighted
average normal is calculated over all the triangles that are contained within a given node of
the octree, with the area of each triangle serving as a weight:
A = ∑ a


New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 318
where n is the number of triangles contained in the volume represented by the node of
interest in the octree, N

is the weighted average normal, and N
is the unit normal of each
triangle. Finally, the weighted standard deviation, σ, of the normals can be estimated as:
σ =
∑ a
- N

2 n
= _
∑ a
- x)
+∑ a
- y)
+∑ a
- z)
2 n
As in the original method, if σ is greater than the defined threshold for that resolution, the
volume is subdivided for further investigation at a higher resolution, until the entire tree has
been generated. This improvement makes the standard deviation values more accurately
represent the amount of deformation within a volume. Figure 12 compares non-uniform
weighting to uniform weighting. Detected regions containing deformations are marked in
red over surface maps corresponding to various levels of resolution in the octree. Deeper
levels in the octree correspond to finer details in the 3D surface mesh.
It can be seen that uniform weighting (upper line) is not as effective at extracting the
complete set of deformations. By octree resolution level 10, none of the deformations are
extracted with uniform weighting. The non-uniform weighting scheme, with similar
thresholding, more consistently extracts the deformations across all resolution scales.

Figure 12. Deformation detection performance at octree resolution levels 4, 6, 8, and 10 under: uniform
weighting (top), and non-uniform weighting (bottom). Actual deformation locations are circled on left
hand-side images, and detected deformations are marked in red.
4.3. Aggregate standard deviation
Even with the aforementioned improvements of triangle-based analysis and non-uniform
surface normal weighting, deformations extraction using an octree-based distribution of 3D
scan points requires the determination of the appropriate thresholds. Based on the
thresholds alone, it is difficult to predict what features will remain and what features will be
removed by the time the deeper and higher resolution levels of the octree are reached. A
slight threshold change can produce drastically different results. In general, a more robust
technique is required to deal with meshes with varying characteristics, involving an
intuitive relationship between the threshold and the results.

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 319
The proposed aggregate standard deviation variation of the octree-based technique allows
the generation of the tree in its entirety, without limiting subdivision to only nodes that
meet a certain threshold. Then, all nodes at selected resolutions of the fully generated tree
can be extracted and those with low surface variation can be removed. A new metric is
introduced to measure multi-resolution surface variation.
Before the new metric is detailed, it is important to show how the algorithm can be applied
using the standard deviation, σ, as the main metric. Analyzing the histogram of the σ values
can help in selecting a proper threshold to isolate feature nodes. Histograms are computed
to separate the range between the lowest σ and highest σ values at a given octree resolution
level into 256 equally divided bins. In the histograms, the x-axis represents the bins, where
bin 1 is the lowest range of σ values and bin 256 is the highest, and the y-axis represents the
number of nodes with σ values in each bin. In Figure 13, standard deviation values are
mapped as a grayscale representation. Black pixels represent low deviation, and white
pixels represent large deviation. Therefore, the nodes containing deformations appear in the
higher bins. Over most surfaces, the majority of the nodes are mapped to non-feature nodes,
such that the bulk of the normal distribution gets classified as non-feature nodes, that is
nodes with low σ values. Using the computer casing panel scan as an example, Figure 13
represents the σ values on the mesh as intensity values, along with its histogram, a selected
threshold, and the thresholding results. Nodes with σ values above the threshold are
extracted as features, which leads to the extraction of the three deformations along with
some extra noisy areas.

Figure 13. a) Image of surface shape standard deviation mapped as intensities for the low resolution
computer casing panel sample encoded in octree at resolution level 6, b) corresponding histogram of σ
values with selected threshold, and c) extracted features including three deformations.
Relying on σ values alone does make use of the multi-resolution capabilities of the octree
structure and places a lot of emphasis on the proper selection of the threshold at a given
resolution. As described in section 2.2, Pauly et al. (Pauly et al. 2002) proposed the idea of
multi-resolution feature persistence, where a strong feature can be retained only if it is
persistently detected across multiple adjacent scales. In order to combine some of the key
concepts of multi-resolution feature persistence with the octree-based feature extraction
technique, it is proposed in this work that the characteristics of nodes are accumulated
(a) (b) (c)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 320
across multiple resolution levels of the octree. The accumulated standard deviation of the
surface normals for an octree node is estimated as follows:
= ∑
s = (σ)(σ
) (8)
where s is the aggregate standard deviation value, σ is the standard deviation value of
surface normals in the current node, σ
is the standard deviation value of surface
normals in the parent node, σ
is the standard deviation value of surface normals in the i
child, and n is the number of children that are not empty, such that only nodes that contain
3D points are considered not to bias the metric. σ
is calculated as the average
standard deviation value of the node’s non-empty children. Note that σ values are
calculated using non-uniform weighting as detailed in section 4.2. At any given scale, each
node will contain a value representing the accumulated standard deviation, s, of a certain
volume of the mesh located under itself in the octree structure.
Using the computer casing panel scan as an example, Figure 14 shows how thresholding the
s values at a single resolution can be successful in isolating areas of interest. The histogram
shown is in the same format as the histogram of Figure 13, but maps s values into pixel
intensities instead of σ values.

Figure 14. a) Intensities corresponding to aggregate standard deviation, s, in low resolution computer
casing panel sample at resolution level 6 of the octree, b) s histogram with threshold, and c) extracted
features including three deformations.
The aggregate standard deviation, s, value provides a greater separation between feature
nodes and non-feature nodes than the local standard deviation, σ, only. A more accurate
separation also adds tolerance to non-optimal thresholds. To compare the tolerance to non-
optimal thresholds when using the σ value against using the s value for feature extraction, the
algorithm is applied on the filtered low resolution computer casing panel mesh with both
metrics at octree resolution level 5. A suitable threshold was determined such that the results
are comparable between using the σ and s values respectively. Then, using the histogram,
thresholds which are 50 bins in either direction of the selected threshold are used to determine
(b) (c)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 321
how that affects the extraction results. When using the σ metric, a threshold of 0.223 is used,
which corresponds to bin 163. Then, a threshold of 0.157, corresponding to bin 113, and a
threshold of 0.289, aligned with bin 213 are also applied. When using the s metric, a threshold
of 0.295 is used, which corresponds to bin 176. Then, a threshold of 0.214, corresponding to bin
126, and a threshold of 0.377, aligned with bin 226 are also applied. Figure 15 shows the results
using σ for feature extraction, and Figure 16 shows the results using s for feature extraction.

Figure 15. a) Deformed regions detected over computer casing panel at resolution level 5 of the octree
with a) optimal σ threshold, b) optimal σ threshold minus 50 bins, and c) optimal σ threshold plus 50

Figure 16. a) Deformed regions detected over computer casing panel at resolution level 5 of the octree
with a) optimal s threshold, b) optimal s threshold minus 50 bins, and c) optimal s threshold plus 50 bins.
This case demonstrates that a change in threshold setting affects the deformation detection
method more extensively when using the local standard deviation, σ, value as a metric than
when using the proposed aggregate standard deviation, s, value. When using the σ value as
a metric, the surface analysis captures more noise and transient features when the threshold
is lowered, and removes all of the deformations when the threshold is increased. When
using s as a metric, the outcome of the surface analysis does not change significantly with
the different thresholds, as the deformations are all still present and no significant
additional surface variation is detected. As a consequence, when thresholds need to be
selected from experimentation, the expected results with aggregate standard deviation are
much less sensitive to changes in threshold setting than with the enhancement described in
section 4.2 alone. The increase in robustness when compared to non-optimal thresholding,
and the significant separation between non-deformation areas and deformation areas in the
s metric, justify the use of s over σ as a metric.
Also, since only three levels of the octree need to be analyzed for thresholding, in
accordance with Eq. 8, only the level of the octree at which the nodes are being extracted
(a) (b)
(b) (a) (c)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 322
and thresholded, along with the levels immediately above and below, must be generated. By
selectively generating only the necessary levels of the tree from the 3D points cloud, the
efficiency of the algorithm is improved significantly. The increase in intuitiveness of the
thresholding parameter setting and the efficiency over the original octree-based method of
Woo et al. (Woo et al. 2002), which thresholds nodes during tree generation as opposed to
after tree generation, also support the development and application of the algorithm
introduced in this work.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, in addition to the results
presented above on the computer casing panel, the method is applied to the more
challenging unfiltered mesh of the car door with the aggregate standard deviation threshold
set at 0.155, for the octree resolution level 6. The results are shown in Figure 17. The same
algorithm is also applied to the artificial curved meshes, with the threshold set at 0.002, at
resolution level 5 of the octree, and the results are shown in Figure 18.

Figure 17. a) Intensity map corresponding to s values on unfiltered car door octree at resolution level 6,
and b) features extracted including the three deformations of interest.

Figure 18. Feature extracted, at resolution level 5, on artificial curved mesh with a) small dent, and
b) large ding.
In terms of deformation extraction effectiveness, provided that the correct threshold is
selected, the algorithm performs similarly on both the filtered and unfiltered car door
meshes. It also extracts many of the edges around the door and window frame. These edges
are very rough areas in the meshes due to the limitations of the acquisition system, and
generate large s values in their surroundings, resulting in them being extracted. Despite
these small issues with the noisy data, the algorithm isolates the deformations well while
increasing robustness and decreasing memory usage when compared to using only the
previous octree-based method enhancements.
(a) (b)
(a) (b)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 323
5. Segmentation and classification
When using the octree-based surface shape analysis technique described in section 4, each
node records information determining whether it belongs to a feature or not. Among the
nodes that correspond to a deformation, those that contain pieces of a same deformation
must eventually be grouped together to segment the deformation from the rest of the panel
surface scan, as shown in Figure 19.
Finally, before the entire system outputs the segments that contain deformations, each of
them must be classified as a ding or a dent as that is one of the primary objectives of the
proposed solution. The octree-based feature extraction requires the classification component
to handle this task by receiving the segments containing the deformations of interest as an
input and labeling them as dings or dents for the output. A two-step segmentation and
classification strategy is proposed to achieve this goal.

Figure 19. a) Original deformation, b) octree-based surface shape analysis results, and c) octree-based
5.1. Single-resolution segmentation based on octrees
If the scale of the desired deformations is known, an appropriate resolution of the octree can
be selected to extract those deformations. Since different depths of the octree correspond to
different spatial resolutions, selecting all nodes at a certain depth (defined as octree levels in
the previous section) will provide a voxel representation of the object at that scale. However,
the appropriate resolution level to segment the deformation must generally be lower than
the resolution level considered for the surface shape analysis described previously. Indeed
small discontinuities in the deformation should not be detected and segmented as
individual deformations based on the connectivity between nodes in the higher resolution
version of that deformation. On the other hand, the segmentation resolution must be
sufficiently high to avoid deformations being grouped with non-deformations, and to
reduce the size of small segments defining features such as noise, in order to avoid
confusion with the actual deformations during the classification phase.
After the feature extraction removes all non-feature voxels at the desired resolution,
grouping is performed. These remaining voxels are denoted as feature voxels. Sets of feature
voxels are grouped together to define a deformation based on adjacency, since each voxel
(a) (b) (c)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 324
contains a piece of a deformation. Since the voxels are cells of a 3-dimensional grid, adjacent
voxels can be determined based on their coordinates in the 3-dimensional grid and looking
for voxels at adjacent coordinates to the current one. By extending the idea of blob
extraction, which is a well-known 2-dimensional image processing algorithm, to three
dimensions, adjacent feature voxels can be grouped together. The final result is a set of voxel
groups, where each group represents a segment containing a deformation.
The proposed octree-based method is applied on the flat mesh with a small deformation of
Figure 7a to extract the small deformation until octree resolution level 8. The segmentation
results are shown in Figure 20. Figure 21 shows the segmentation applied at octree
resolution level 6 on feature extraction results on the indented computer casing panel high
resolution surface mesh.
These results demonstrate that the segmentation can group the required voxels to properly
define the deformations. On the artificial mesh, applying segmentation at resolution level 6
segments the deformation clearly. On the other hand, the segmentation at resolution level 4
shows that the deformation is still located, but covers a larger surface than the actual
deformation. This is because the resolution considered is lower, therefore the voxel
containing the deformation is larger and entirely marked. Similarly successful results are
achieved on the computer casing panel, with all deformations being successful grouped.

Figure 20. a) Octree-based feature extraction, at octree resolution level 8, on the flat mesh with small
deformation, b) bounding box of segmented deformation at octree resolution level 6, and c) bounding
box of segmented deformation at octree resolution level 4.

Figure 21. Bounding boxes defining the areas segmented as actual deformations on the filtered high
resolution computer casing panel surface mesh at resolution octree level 6.
5.2. Classification
Classification represents the final phase of the proposed deformation detection process. It
helps determine whether the identified segments are dings or dents. It also provides abilities
(b) (c)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 325
to ensure that the extracted segments are indeed deformations of interest. Ideally, the
previous steps of surface shape analysis and segmentation have already removed most non-
deformation areas. But in case some erroneous deformation areas remain, the classification
phase provides the necessary filtering stage to remove those areas and reduce false
positives. Complex classification methods, such as using neural networks as proposed by
Döring et al. (Döring et al. 2004), or spin image signatures as attempted by Assfalg et al.
(Assfalg et al. 2007), could be implemented at this stage. However this work focuses on
simpler and more computationally efficient solutions that take advantage of the fact that
accurate results have already been obtained by the surface shape analysis and segmentation
5.2.1. Classification of the type of deformation
To measure the shape characteristics of the segments, a basic understanding of the
orientation of the segment must be determined. A least-squares plane-of-best-fit fitted to the
3D points contained in a segment, specifically the boundary points, is used to determine the
orientation of the shape represented by a given segment. Since the boundary points are on
the outside edges of the segment, they would more likely belong to the regular surface of
the automotive panel than to the deformation. This leads to a plane best fitted to the surface
of the automotive panel around the deformation, and determines the general orientation of
the surface shape that is contained in the segment. A descriptor, called the point-count
descriptor, uses the number of points that share a similar positional relationship to the
plane-of-best-fit in estimating the direction of variation of the surface contained in the
segment. If a majority of the points contained in the segment are above the plane-of-best-fit,
that is, in the direction of the normal vector, the deformation is classified as a ding. If a
majority of the points are below the plane-of-best-fit, that is in the opposite direction to the
normal vector, the deformation is classified as a dent.
In any classification, a certainty measure is also important. The percentage of the points that
are above the plane-of-best-fit in the case of a ding, or below the plane-of-best-fit in the case
of a dent, provides the certainty measure on the classification. This way, if there are a similar
number of points that are above and below the plane-of-best-fit, the certainty measure is
close to 50%, indicating uncertainty.
To test the classification technique’s ability to determine whether a deformation is a ding or
a dent, it is applied on deformation segments of every mesh using the point-count
descriptor, and the results are compared. Non-ideal extraction and segmentation results are
presented in Figure 22, while the resulting classifications are presented in Table 1.
Over the artificial flat and curved meshes, it can be seen that the classification is correct.
These results show that the classification behaves well on artificial models, corresponding to
an acquisition system with minimal noise and acquisition artifacts. For the real world
meshes (car door and computer panel), the descriptor accurately classifies each of the dents
on the computer casing except for one, which is recognized as a ding rather than a dent. This

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 326
can be attributed to the non-ideal feature extraction, as classification is dependent on the
quality of the latter step. However, the certainty measure reflects the inaccuracy of the
classification by being close to 50%, lower than that of the correctly classified deformations.
Overall, it can be seen that the classification provides proper results even when feature
extraction and segmentation results are non-ideal.

Figure 22. Octree-based feature extraction and single-resolution segmentation applied on a) computer
casing panel mesh with dent segments labeled, b) car door mesh with ding segments labeled, c) flat
mesh with large ding segment labeled, d) flat mesh with small dent segment labeled, e) curved mesh
with small dent segment labeled, and f) curved mesh with large ding segment labeled.

Point-Count Descriptor
Type Type Certainty
Car Door
Def 1 Ding Ding 0.636
Def 2 Ding Ding 0.644
Def 3 Ding Ding 0.609
Computer Casing Panel
Def 1 Dent Ding 0.502
Def 2 Dent Dent 0.511
Def 3 Dent Dent 0.546
Flat Mesh
Small Dent Dent 0.583
Large Ding Ding 0.896
Curved Mesh
Small Dent Dent 0.667
Large Ding Ding 0.558
Table 1. Comparison of actual deformation characteristics and the results of classification following
octree-based feature extraction and segmentation.
(a) (b) (c)
(d) (e) (f)

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 327
5.2.2. Additional classification
Though it is not the primary goal of the classification stage, the latter also allows fine-tuning
of certain parameters by the operator as a final effort to ensure that only deformations of
interest are outputted as marked segments. In the process of analyzing descriptors to
determine whether a segment is a ding or a dent, segments that do not meet the
characteristics of either can be removed. Certain well-known characteristics of deformations
can be taken into account to remove non-deformation areas that remain.
The combined surface area of the mesh contained in a segment makes a suitable
descriptor of deformations of interest. Thresholding the surface area is another effective
strategy for the removal of noise and acquisition artifacts, as those erroneous extracted
segments typically cover only very small surface area. Similarly, thresholding surface area
also proves effective in removing large surface features that do not correspond to
deformations expected over an automotive body panel at the assembly stage, such as
actual door handles or aesthetic curves. The latter cover much larger surface areas than
dings and dents.
After the orientation of the shape contained in the segment is determined, as detailed in
section 5.2.1, and the plane-of-best-fit provides the shape its own local coordinate system,
characteristics such as the deformation size in the x, y, and z directions can be measured
relative to the shape’s local coordinate system to provide an estimate of the shape’s height,
width, and depth. Noise typically has a small depth, while features like door handles have a
larger depth and width relative to the deformations of interest. Applying thresholds on
these parameters further increases the reliability of isolating only segments that contain
actual deformations.
Though a certain dependency on the setting of threshold values remains, the combination of
these descriptors that provide a large amount of information about the various shapes
contained in the extracted segments proves to be an excellent technique to improve the
reliability of the feature extraction process. In order to demonstrate the relevance of using
the final classification phase to further refine the selection of actual deformation segments,
here focusing on dings and dents over smoothly curved surface meshes, some cases of poor
feature extraction scenarios are artificially created using the experimental models described
in section 3.3, but with non-optimal parameters for feature detection and segmentation. The
resulting non-deformation areas that get included into detected segments are used to test
the classification system’s ability to distinguish between actual deformations and non-
Figure 23 depicts a non-optimal case where many false positives are detected and
segmented as potential deformation areas over the car door surface mesh, and shows how
the classification is able to remove them. By setting the parameters of the additional
classification to remove depths less than 8.5mm or greater than 17mm, most of the broad
curvatures on the panel, the door handle, and the small noisy areas are removed. Also,

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 328
setting the parameters to remove segments with surface area less than 2800 mm
segments with surface area greater than 5200 mm
results in further non-deformation
areas being removed. In spite of the non-optimal tuning of the quality inspection system,
only one additional area, influenced by the boundary effect around the lower left-hand
side of the panel, is preserved as a potential deformation segment in Figure 23b. This
represents a major improvement from the 40+ erroneous segments initially identified in
Figure 23a.

Figure 23. a) Deformation and non-deformation areas initially segmented on the car door mesh,
b) additional classification removes most non-deformation areas.
6. Conclusion
In this chapter, an original feature detection, segmentation and classification framework is
proposed to process 3D point clouds and corresponding surface meshes in order to meet
the advanced requirements of an automated deformation detection system for use in the
context of automotive panels quality control over an assembly line. The requirements in
place are that such a system must be able to detect deformations of interest, using 3D
analysis, without knowledge of the ideal surface and without any comparative CAD
models. The deformations must also be classified as dings or dents. The proposed
approach assumes that the operator possesses a minimal knowledge about the
approximate size and scale of these deformations of interest in the context of the specific
application. The proposed technique then makes optimal use of this additional
information to refine the deformation isolation process which leads to an accurate
separation of ding and dent deformations from desirable aesthetic design features that
typically appear over automotive panels.
A variety of techniques were reviewed for the deformation detection pipeline. An octree-
based technique is revisited and refined for surface shape analysis. A single-resolution
segmentation method is also presented to refine the location of deformations. Finally, a
classification approach is proposed and a complete experimental evaluation is performed on
every stage of the surface inspection procedure. The complete pipeline is effective in
identifying the location of deformations of interest, and classifying them as dents or dings
when presented with a 3D mesh of a surface.

3D Surface Analysis for Automated Detection of Deformations on Automotive Body Panels 329
Experiments were conducted on both artificial and real-world test data, offering a set of
meshes encompassing various characteristics. These experiments demonstrated that the
proposed approach can be used in both ideal circumstances, such as finding a large
deformation over a flat, noiseless mesh, as well as in more complex circumstances, such
as finding small deformations over a noisy, smoothly curved surface, with acquisition
artifacts and holes. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed framework
is scalable, effective and robust to meshes with noise and acquisition artifacts, along with
non-ideal surfaces containing shape variations other than the deformations of interest.
The proposed technique is therefore suitable for integration in an automated
deformation detection and marking system for quality control on automotive panels
assembly lines.
Author details
Arjun Yogeswaran and Pierre Payeur
University of Ottawa,
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS),
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Chapter 13
Development of a Dimensionless
Model for Predicting the Onset of
Cavitation in Torque Converters
Darrell Robinette, Carl Anderson and Jason Blough
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
The presence of cavitation in any turbomachine can be detrimental to hardware durability,
operating performance or noise and vibration characteristics. In an automatic transmission,
the torque converter has the potential to cavitate under specific operating conditions
resulting in a degradation in torque transfer, irregular engine speed regulation, blade
damage or noise complaints depending on the degree of cavitation. Recent trends in
planetary automatic transmissions are towards an increased number of fixed gear states and
an expanding area of torque converter lockup clutch operation to reduce fuel consumption.
The result is a reduction in the packaging volume available for the torque converter torus as
indicated in Fig. 1 and the requirement to accommodate the increasing specific torque
output of down sized, boosted engines. This combination of torus design and engine
matching increases the opportunity for cavitation with higher toroidal flow velocities,
higher pressure differentials across blade surfaces and greater power input to the fluid
during normally inefficient operating points.

Figure 1. Recent design trend in automotive torque converter torus dimensions; pump (green), turbine
(red) and stator (blue)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 334
The onset of cavitation can be readily identified by a distinct change in radiated sound from
the torque converter during particular driving maneuvers. Advanced stages of cavitation
are distinguished by a loss of torque transfer through the torque converter and unexpected
engine speed regulation due to the presence of large scale multi-phase flow structures. The
focus of this chapter will be on incipient cavitation and detecting the onset of cavitation
rather than on advanced stages of cavitation. The chapter will detail an experimental
technique for acoustically detecting onset of cavitation in torque converters of varying
designs and performance characteristics over a range of operating points. The effects of
torque converter design parameters and operating conditions on cavitation are quantified
through dimensional analysis of the test results. The objective is to develop a tool for
designing converters with minimal cavitation by fitting power product and response surface
models to the dimensionless data. Initially, torque converter designs following exact
geometric similitude are analyzed. The constraint of similitude are relaxed in subsequent
model iterations to allow application of the dimensional analysis and model fitting process
to a broader range of converter designs. Empirical power product and response surface
models were produced capable of predicting the onset of cavitation with less than 10% and
7% error, repectively, for a large population of torque converters.
2. The torque converter and cavitation
2.1. Torque converter design and performance
The torque converter is a particular class of turbomachine that utilizes a pressurized fluid
circulating through multiple bladed elements that add or extract energy from the fluid. The
torque converter is the powertrain component that couples the engine crankshaft to the gear
system of the automatic transmission, allowing the transfer of power. It serves a number of
other purposes, including decoupling the engine and transmission, allowing engine idle
without the aid of a clutch, multiplying torque at low engine speeds to overcome poor self-
starting capability of the internal combustion engine and regulation of engine speed during
vehicle acceleration.
The torque converter pump, connected to the engine crankshaft, rotates at engine speed and
torque, increases the angular momentum of the toriodal fluid as it flows from inner to outer
torus radius. The toroidal fluid then flows into the turbine where its angular momentum is
decreased and torque is transferred to the automatic transmission via the turbine shaft. The
toriodal fluid exits the turbine and enters the stator which redirects the fluid at a favorable
angle back into the pump. The redirection of the fluid increases the angular momentum of
the fluid reducing the amount of increase required by the pump, thereby multiplying
Dimensionless parameters are frequently used in the turbomachinery field to relate
fundamental design characteristics to performance such as speed, torque, flow or head. The
torque converter is no exception and uses a semi-dimensionless parameter known as K-

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 335
where Np and Tp represent pump speed and pump torque, respectively, to characterize a
specific design of the torus and bladed elements. A dimensionless form of K-factor can be
formulated by including fluid density and torus diamter to form unit input speed,
µ =
U K D . (2)
Unit input speed is the inverse square of the torque coefficienct, which is more commonly
found in turbomachinery. The value of K-factor or unit input speed are single value
functions of the ratio of turbine (output) speed to pump (input) speed, referred to as speed
. (3)
Torque ratio, the ratio of turbine to pump torque (see Eq. 4), quantifies torque multiplication
of a design and is a single value of function of speed ratio.
Efficiency of the torque converter is also used to quantify performance and is the product of
speed ratio and torque ratio. Figure 2 summarizes the typical hydrodynamic performance
attribtues of K-factor, TR and efficiency as a function of SR. At zero turbine speed (SR=0),
referred to as stall, K-factor and TR are constant regardless of pump speed. As SR increases
TR decreases monotonically until the coupling point is reached and is unity thereafter. K-
factor in general will remain approximately constant until a threshold SR where it begins to
increase gradually up to coupling and then asymptotically approaches infinite capacity as
SR nears unity.

Figure 2. Typical dimensionless and semi-dimensionless performance characteristics of a
hydrodynamic torque converter

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 336
2.2. Cavitation in torque converters
The change in angular momentum across the pump, turbine or stator produces a torque
acting on individual blades that is equal to the product of the local static pressure and
radius from converter centerline integrated over the entire surface area of the blade. A
pressure differential exists between low and high pressure surfaces of a blade and in order
for an increase in torque transfer to occur, the pressure differential across the blade surface
in each element must increase. At a critical torque level, the localized pressure on the low
pressure side of a blade will drop below the vapor pressure of the toroidal fluid, causing the
nucleation of cavitation bubbles. Stall, SR=0, is most susceptible to the occurrence of
cavitation due to the combination of high toroidal flow velocities, high incidence angle at
element inlets and the thermal loading of the fluid. Cavitation may also occur while
climbing a steep grade, repeated high throttle launches or during initial vehicle launch
towing a heavy load. The discussion in this chapter will be focued on cavitation while
operating at the stalled condition.
Incipient cavitation produces a negligible effect on overall torque converter performance
due to a small volume of two phase flow in a localized region of the toroidal flow circuit.
Continued operation at moderate to heavy cavitation will begin to cause a departure
from the idealized K-factor relationship as an increased volume of toroidal flow is
displaced by vapor. Previous testing by [1] found that heavy and sustained cavitation
will cause an approximate 3% decrease in pump torque at stall. The onset of cavitation
could more precisely be detected by a noted increase in the fluctuating component of
pressure using in-situ pressure taps and a microwave telemetry technique, see [1]. The
testing conducted at stall showed that a sudden increase in the ensemble averaged
fluctuating pressure measurements signified the onset of cavitation for a particular
charging pressure. Pressure measurements at the leading edge of the stator blade by [8]
showed the fluctuating component of pressure to damp out as cavitation occurred as the
cavitation structure formed at the leading edge of the stator blade. These results were
confirmed by CFD work performed through [3], showing that the leading edge of the
stator is indeed the initial nucleation site for cavitation at stall. As pump speed increased
further, the size of the cavitation region grew at the leading edge of the stator blade.
The collapse of cavitation bubbles produces a broadband noise and may become objectionable
to vehicle occupants. The radiated noise can also be used to identify the onset of cavitation as
found by [4]. Using an acoustically treated test fixture, the onset of cavitation was readily
found by an abrupt increase in filtered sound pressure level (SPL) above a critical pump speed.
Utilizing a non-contact measurement technique facilitates testing of multiple torque converter
designs, however, the size of the test fixture limited the testing to a single diameter torus and
element designs spanning a narrow 23 K-factor point range. A dimensionless model for
predicting pump speed at onset of cavitation was developed by [5] for this data, however, was
not practical to predict cavitation for a diverse torque converter design population. The goal of
this investigation was to utilize a similar nearfield acoustical measurement technique and test
a general design population of torque converters at stall to determine the operating threshold

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 337
at incipient cavitation. Through dimensional analysis, this data would be used to develop a
comprehensive design tool capable of predicting the onset of cavitation with reasonable
3. Experimental setup
3.1. Dynamometer test cell
A torque converter dynamometer test cell was constructed with an acoustically treated test
fixture to acquire nearfield acoustical measurements to identify the onset of cavitation. The
dynamometer setup consisted of four major subsystems as shown in Fig. 3; a hydraulic
supply system, drive dynamometer, acoustical test fixture, and an absorbing dynamometer
with an optional stall plate to prevent rotation. The hydraulic system has setpoint control of
the charge pressure and back pressure imposed upon the torque converter as well as
regulation of the temperature of the automatic transmission fluid at the inlet to the test
fixture. A 215 kW direct current drive dynamometer was used to simulate typical engine
speeds and torques. The 225 kW absorbing dynamometer was connected to the stall plate to
prevent rotation and induce the stall operating condition. The acoustical test fixture was
sized to accommodate at least 150 mm of acoustical foam to improve measurement
coherence and allow torque converter designs of widely varying torus dimensions. Two
data acquisition systems (not shown) were used to acquire data. One for operating data
(speed, torque, pressure, temperature, flow, etc.) at a 1 kHz sample rate and one for
nearfield microphone and pump speed data at a sample rate of 51.2 kHz.

Figure 3. Torque converter dynamometer test cell and acoustically treated test fixture with nearfield
microphone measurement

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 338
3.2. Stall cavitation test
A standardized test procedure for the stall operating condition was developed to transition
each torque converter tested from a noncavitating to cavitating condition. Starting at 500
rpm, pump speed was sweep at 40 rpm/s until a speed sufficiently higher than onset of
cavitation (~ 1200 to 2300 rpm). Fourteen stall speed sweep tests at various combinations of
charge pressures ranging from 483 to 896 kPa, delta pressures between 69 to 345 kPa and
input temperatures of 60, 70 and 80 ˚C were completed for each torque converter tested. The
range of operating points tested is contained in Table 1.

Low High
Charge Pressure 483 kPa 896 kPa
Back Pressure 69 kPa 345 kPa
Input Temperature 60 ˚C 80 ˚C
Table 1. Range of operating point pressures and temperatures tested
3.3. Acoustical detection of incipient of cavitation
A sample nearfield acoustical measurement during a stall speed sweep test is shown in Fig.
4, in both the time domain (a) and frequency domain (b). The subtle change in SPL near 1400
rpm and frequency characteristic above 6 kHz correlates to the collapse of incipient
cavitation bubbles. All torque converters tested exhibited similar behaviour when onset of
cavitation occurs. Similar findings have been reported by [2] and [7] for incipient cavitation
and acoustical detection techniques in rotating machinery.

Figure 4. Time (a) and frequency (b) domain nearfield acoustical measurement for standardized stall
speed sweep cavitation test
a) Time domain b) Frequency domain

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 339
To eliminate subjectivity in identifying the exact pump speed at onset of cavitation, a
standardized signal processing technique was developed to reduce the nearfield acoustical
measurements shown in Fig. 4 into a signal that more readily indicates the onset of
cavitation. A 6 kHz Kaiser window high pass filter was first applied to the nearfield
microphone data to remove noise unrelated to cavitation. The filtered SPL was then time
averaged at 40 equally spaced points throughout the stall speed sweep test, resulting in Fig.
5a. Post processing the data in this manner showed an abrupt increase in filtered SPL to
occur at a particular pump speed that is taken as the onset of cavitation for this
investigation. A metric referred to as slope
, see Fig. 5b, was computed and used in an
automated algorithm to identify the exact pump speed at which cavitation occurred using a
threshold criteria of a 12.5% increase. This value was found to give an accuracy of +/- 40 rpm
with 95% confidence across the broad range of converter designs and operating points
tested. The details regarding the experimental setup, post processing and identifying the
exact pump speed at onset of cavitation can be found in [10].

Figure 5. Filtered SPL (a) and slope
(b) post processed from nearfield acoustical measurements to
identify pump speed at onset of cavitation
3.4. Experimental torque converters
Fifty one torque converters were tested for this investigation of varying design
characteristics that would satisfy the performance requirements of a wide range of
powertrain applications. Although each torque converter differed geometrically in some
respect, each design followed a common philosophy of torus and bladed element design to
achieve certain performance attributes. The torque converter designs were arranged into
four major populations, from exact geometric similitude to a general design population
including all 51 torque converters with no similitude. Six diameters were tested in this
investigation and will be denoted D1 through D6. D1 corresponds to the smallest diameter at
slightly smaller than 240 mm and D6 the largest diameter at slightly larger than 300 mm. The
a) Filtered SPL
b) Filtered slope

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 340
details of the torque converters within each design population will be discussed later in the
chapter as dimensionless quantities when the empirical models for predicting the onset of
cavitation are presented. The exact designs characteristics will be omitted or presented as
dimensionless quantities for proprietary reasons.
4. Dimensional analysis
4.1. Non-dimensionalizing onset of cavitation
Analysis of geometrically similar torque converter designs was performed to determine if
the onset of cavitation could be non-dimensionalized using diameter and other relevant
parameters. Such a dimensionless quantity would allow experimentally determined
incipient cavitation thresholds for a given diameter, element design and operating point to
be scaled to multiple diameters when exact dimensional scaling and operating point are
preserved. The two torque converters considered are of exact geometric scaling with
diameters D2 and D6, with the same stall unit input speed of 140 and stall torque ratio of 2.0.
The designs only differ in pump blade count, which was necessary to maintain identical unit
input speed.
Due to the relationship between speed and torque, either quantity could be used to
describe the critical operating threshold at the onset of cavitation. Torque, however, is a
more relevant quantity than speed as torque capacity is a more useful quantity when
performing torque converter and powertrain matching and is fundamentally related to
the pressure drop across the blades of the pump, turbine and stator. Stator torque at the
onset of cavitation, Ts,i was selected over pump or turbine torque for comparing critical
cavitation stall operating thresholds as previous research by [3] and [8] showed
cavitation to originate at the leading edge of the stator blade. Stator torque can
generically be written as,

( )
· A
s sb blade
T n A p r (5)
where nsb is the number of stator blades, Ablade, the surface area of an individual blade, Δp,
the pressure differential between high and low pressure sides and r, the radius from
centreline. In general, smaller diameter torque converters will begin cavitating at higher
pump speeds, but lower elements torques relative to a larger geometrically scaled torque
converter design. This can readily be seen in the plots of filtered SPL versus pump speed (a)
and stator torque (b) in Fig. 6.
The critical stator torque at incipient cavitation will primarily depend on design parameters
and fluid properties, most notably a characteristic size dimension and the fluid pressure
imposed upon the toroidal flow. Figure 7 is a plot of Ts,i versus the average of the controlled
charge and back pressures for all fourteen operating conditions. It is clear from Fig.7 that
diameter and average pressure significantly influence the onset of cavitation. The stator
torque threshold at cavitation was found to be 95 to 118 Nm greater than the smaller
diameter with 95% confidence, as reported by [10].

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 341

Figure 6. Filtered SPL versus pump speed (a) and stator torque (b) at the onset of cavitation

Figure 7. Stator torque at onset of cavitation versus average absolute pressure imposed upon the
toroidal flow for geometrically scaled torque converters
These observations lead to the development of a dimensionless quantity by [11]
incorporating stator torque at the onset of cavitation, Ts,i, diameter, D and average pressure,
pave as given by Eq. 6.

s i
D p
This quantity will be referred to as dimensionless stator torque and represents a similarity
condition when geometric similitude is observed. Thus, stator torque cavitation threshold
can be scaled to another diameter when the same stall operating point is maintained. The
similarity condition for dimensionless stator torque is expressed by,
a) Pump speed b) Stator torque

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 342

| | | |
| | =
| |
\ . \ .
3 3
1 2
s s
ave ave
D p D p
where the subscript 1 represents the known cavitation threshold and diameter and subscript
2 represents the cavitation threshold and diameter that are to be scaled. For Eq. 7 to hold
true the average pressure, the combination of charge and back pressures, must be equivalent
to properly scale the stator torque threshold. When the ratio of average pressures becomes
unity it can subsequenctly be dropped from Eq. 7. The similarity condition for
dimensionless stator torque is illustrated clearly in Fig. 8 when filtered SPL is plotted versus
dimensionless stator torque. For the geometrically scaled designs at the the same operating
point, onset of cavitation reduces to approximately the same value of dimensionless stator
torque, as indicated by the vertical dashed lines. A difference of 1.7% between
dimensionless stator torque values at incipient cavitation was found.
Alternatively pump speed could be used to formulate a similarity condition using
dimensionless pump at onset of cavitation, Eq. 8, as proposed by [1]. This dimensionless
quantity incorporates the critical pump speed threshold at cavitation, ωp,i, with diameter, D,
the charging pressure imposed upon on the toroidal flow, pc, and automatic transmission
fluid density, ρ. The onset of cavitation occurs at nearly the same value of dimensionless
pump speed as seen in Fig. 9.

O =
p i

Figure 8. Filtered SPL versus dimensionless stator torque for geometrically scaled torque converters,
dashed lines indicate onset of cavitation

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 343

Figure 9. Filtered SPL versus dimensionless pump speed for geometrically scaled torque converters,
dashed lines indicate onset of cavitation
4.2. Pi group formulation
The dimensional analysis and formation of pi groups for onset of cavitation in torque
converters is initiated by formulating a list of regressor variables that will be fit to the
response variable in developing empirical models. The response variable, stator torque at
the onset of cavitation, can be described by the regressor variables that determine the
boundary value problem of the toroidal flow for incipient cavitation at stall. The list of
variables will include those that describe the torque converter design and those related
to the operating conditions of the fluid. The design variables that principally determine
the stator torque cavitation threshold at stall include the diameter, D, axial length, Lt, and
element blade designs comprising the pump, turbine and stator. Element blade design
manifests itself as the integrated quantities of K-factor and TR. Both of these quantities
correlate to cavitation behaviour at stall, see [10], and their simplicity is favored over a
lengthy list of individual blade design parameters. The number of stator blades as well
as their shape can strongly influence performance and therefore the onset of cavitation.
The airfoil shape of the stator blade is described by the ratio of blade maximum
thickness, tmax, and chord length, lc, and has been shown to have a statistically significant
effect on the stator torque cavitation threshold, see [10]. The pressures imposed upon the
torque converter are included in the list of variables for the dimensional analysis. As

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 344
found by [10], increasing charging pressure can alter the stator torque cavitation
threshold at stall by as much as 150 Nm for a particular design. Secondary variables that
affect the cavitation threshold are those describing the thermal conditions of the toroidal
flow, namely cooling flow rate, Q, and the automatic transmission fluid properties
of density, ρ, viscosity, μ, specific heat, Cp, and thermal conductivity, k. Rather than
using charge and back pressures, average pressure, pave, and pressure drop, Δp, will be
used as they implicitly comprehend the cooling flow rate through the toroidal flow.
Equation 9 gives the list of primary and secondary varies that determine Ts,i in a torque
( )
µ µ = A
, max
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
s i t sb c ave p
T f D L K TR n t l p p C k
. (9)
The dimensionless form of Eq. 9 was resolved into dimensionless stator torque as a function
of dimensionless design parameters and dimensionless operating point parameters using
the PI Theroem with repeating variables of D, pave, ρ and Cp. The exponents for the repeating
variables contained in each pi group are found using,

= ÷
where Ψ, Q and P are 10x4, 10x4 and 4x4 matrices. The rows of P are the repeating variables
D, pave, ρ and Cp, while the rows of Q are the remaining variables, Ts,i, Lt, K, TR, nsb, tmax, lc, Δp,
μ, and k from Eq. 9. The columns of both P and Q represent the dimensions of M, L, t and θ.
A Π group matrix, Eq. 11, is formed by combining the Ψ matrix and a 10x10 identity matrix,
I, in which the diagonal represents the remaining variables, Ts,i, Lt, K, TR, nsb, tmax, lc, Δp, μ,
and k raised to the power of 1. Each row of Eq. 11 represents a Π group, while the columns
are the variables from Eq. 9 in the following order, D, pave, ρ, Cp, Ts,i, Lt, K, TR, nsb, tmax, lc, Δp,
μ, and k. The cells of the matrix in Eq. 11 are the exponents assigned to each variable.
Equation 12 lists the Π groups found using this method.


Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 345

H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
H =
s i
ave p
D p
D p
D p C
A new dimensionless quantity, stator blade thickness ratio, is formed by combining Π5 and
Π6. The Prandlt number is formed with the combination of Π9 and Π10 to quantify thermal
effects. The list of variables that effect stator torque at the onset of cavitation found in Eq. 9
are now made dimensionless as summarized in Eq. 13 as a function of dimensionless stator

| |
\ .
, , , , , ,Pr
s i
c ave
L t p
f U TR n
D l p
D p
where the five dimensionless design parameters are torus aspect ratio, Lt/D, unit input
speed, U, stall torque ratio, TR, number of stator blades, nsb, and stator blade thickness ratio,
tmax/lc. The two dimensionless operating point parameters are dimensionless operating
pressure, pave/Δp, and the Prandlt number. These seven dimensionless parameters will be
used to form empirical models on dimensionless stator torque.
Not all the dimensionless design parameters of Eq. 13 are necessary when considering the
various populations of the torque converter designs considered in this investigation. When
exact geometric similitude is observed, all five dimensionless design parameters are
constant and only the dimensionless operating point parameters are used to fit a model.
Those dimensionless design parameters that remain constant are removed from Eq. 13
before a model is fit to the data. As the constraint of geomertric similitude is relaxed,
dimensionless design parameters are added back into Eq. 13 before proceeding fit a model
to the data.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 346
5. Dimensionless models
5.1. Model functions
The power product method (PPM) and response surface methodology (RSM) were used to
develop relationships between dimensionless stator torque and the dimensionless design
and operating point parameters of Eq. 13. The power product method has been traditionally
used as the standard model function for most dimensionless prediction models found in
fluid mechanics and heat transfer. The response surface method, however, is a statistical
approach to developing a linear regression. An empirical power product and response
surface model will be developed for each of the four torque converter populations of
varying geometric similitude.
The power product model function is given by Eq. 14, with ŷ equal to predicted dimensionless
stator torque and Π representing the dimensionless parameters on the right hand side of Eq.
13. The model error, ε, is the difference between measured and predicted dimensionless stator
torque. The exponents, bi, and coefficient, b0, were found using a Gaussian-Newton numerical
search technique based upon minimizing ε; see [11] for more details.
| |
= + |
\ .
[ 0
y b x (14)
A second order function was assumed for the RSM used in this investigation, which
contains linear, quadratic and two factor interactions as used by [12]:
= = = = +
= + H + H + H H +
¿ ¿ ¿ ¿
1 1 1 1
k k k k
i i ii i ij i j
i i i j i
y b b b b . (15)
The response parameter, as with the PPM, is dimensionless stator torque and the regressors,
Π, are the dimensionless design and operating point parameters of Eq. 13. The coefficients
for the RSM were found using least squares method by minimizing the error between
experimentally measured, y, and predicted, ŷ,dimensionless stator torque. Equation 15 can
be written in matrix form as

= + Y Xb ε (16)
where Ŷ is a vector of predicted dimensionless stator torque, X is a matrices of the
dimensionless regressors, b is a matric of the regression coefficients and ε is a vector of
error. The regression coefficents are found using Eq. 17, where Y replaces Ŷ and ε is

( )
b X X X Y (17)
A stepwise regression technique was used to produce a response surface model with the
minimum number of dimensionless regressors that were statisically significant as

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 347
determined by a 95% joint Bonferroni confidence interval and t-test. The initial model
only included the b0 coefficient. During the stepwise regression, regressors were added or
removed from the model dictated by the statistical criterion described. The reduction in
model error realized by the addition of any one regressor was dependent upon the
regressors already included in the model. Use of the stepwise regression procedure can
greatly reduce the number of regressors, thereby complexity of the model while
increasing the amount of variation in the response explained. It should be noted that the
dimensionless parameters of U and Pr were divided by 1000 for the RSM so that the
estimated regression coefficients were of roughly the same magnitude. For a more
detailed description of the linear and stepwise regression techniques utilized, the reader is
referred to [6] and [9].
The accuarcy and goodness of fit for both the PPM and RSM models were determined by
computing the root mean square error (RMSE) and the linear association between the
dimensionless response and regressors. RMSE is an estimator of a models standard
deviation and for this investigation was computed as a percentage, denoted as %RMSE.
Equation 18 defines %RMSE, where n is the number of data points and p, the number of
regressors in the model. A value of %RMSE of 10% or less can generally be regarded as
providing an empirical dimensionless model with acceptable accuracy.

| | ÷
\ .
* 100
i i
i i
y y
n p
A measure of the proportionate amount of variation in the response explained by a particular
set of regressors in the model is the adjusted coefficient of multiple determination, R

( ) ( )
( ) ( )
÷ ÷
= ÷
÷ ÷
2 1
i i
y y n p
y y n
. (19)
This metric will calculate to a value between 0 and 1, with values of 0.85 or higher signifying
a model that accurately represents the data. R
a is generally preferred over R
, the coefficient
of multiple determination, as it is a better evaluator of model variation and the number of
regressors present. Whereas R
will always increase in value when additional regressors are
added to a model, R
a may increase or decrease depending on whether or not the additional
regressors actually reduce the variation in the response.
5.2. Exact geometric similitude
Two torque converters of exact geometric scaling with diameters D2 and D6 were considered
for developing a dimensionless prediction model for onset of cavitation at stall. The

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 348
functional form of Eq. 13 contains only the dimensionless operating point parameters since
the dimensionless design parameters are equivalent for both diameters. Equations 20 and 21
are the PPM and RSM models for torque converters with exact similitude and are
graphically represented in Fig. 10a and 10b, respectively. The values of the dimensionless
design parameters for the two torque converters considered for exact geometric similitude
are provided in Fig 10.

( )
| |
\ .
¸ ¸
2 ,
s i
D p
( )
| |
= + +
\ .
0 1 2
s i
b b b
D p

Figure 10. Dimensionless stator torque PPM (a) and RSM (b) for exact geometric scaling of a torque
converter design for a range of operating points
The model diagonistics provided at the top of each model plot shows %RMSE below 4% and
a above 0.43. The RSM model performance is slightly better than that of the PPM with a
9% decrease in %RMSE and a 23% increase in R
a. Although both the PPM and RSM models
have an %RMSE below 4%, R
a does not meet the 0.85 criteria for a good model fit with
sufficient explanation of response variation for the regressors in the model. Use of
dimensionless stator torque results in a constant value when geometric similitude is
observed and an identical operating point is considered. For the range of dimensionless
operating points tested, see Table 2, a small variation in dimensionless stator torque resulted
which does not particularly lend itself to empirical modeling, requiring a greater variation
in the dimensionless quantities to adequately define a curve. However, even with relatively
low values of R
a, the prediction accuracy for scaling stator torque cavitation thresholds for a
given torus and set of element designs is high.
a) PPM b) RSM

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 349
Low High
Average Pressure 481 kPa 963 kPa
Pressure Drop 69 kPa 345 kPa
Prandlt Number 116 300
Table 2. Range of dimensionless operating point parameters tested
5.3. Torus scaling
For the torus scaling population, three torque converters with varying Lt/D ratios were used
to investigate the ability to apply dimensional analysis and develop a predictive model with
reasonable accuracy when geometric similitude is not observed. The element designs of the
three converters were maintained, with the exception of stator blade count for the D5
converter, such that unit input speeds remained constant. The PPM and RSM models are
given by Eq. 22 and 23 and include the dimensionless design parameters of torus aspect
ratio and number of stator blades to account for the design variations:
( ) ( )
| | | | A
| |
\ . \ .
¸ ¸
3 1
2 4 ,
b b
b b
s i
L p
b n
D p
D p
( ) ( )
| | | | | | | | | | | | A A A
= + + + + +
| | | | | |
| | |
\ . \ . \ . \ . \ . \ .
0 1 2 3 4 5
s i
t t t
ave ave ave
L L L p p p
b b b b b b n
p D D p D p
D p
. (23)
Figure 11a and 11b contain the PPM and RSM models, respectively, for the torus scaling
popualtion and include the model performance metrics and dimensionless design
parameters. An increase in the range of dimensionless stator torque can be noted over the
exact geometric similitude population shown in Figure 10a and 10b. The PPM model
experienced a negligible increase in %RMSE and a doubling of R
a when compared with the
exact geometric scaling PPM model. A decrease in %RSME from 3.44% to 2.87% and an
increase in R
a from 0.566 to 0.926 was realized compared to the geometric scaling RSM
model. Both model functions increase the amount of variation in dimensionless stator
torque accounted for by the regressors in the model. The RSM model has a slight advantage
over the PPM model due to the statistical nature of determining which dimensionless
parameters to include. This can be seen grpahically in Fig. 11 in that the data fits the RSM
model closer for all three diameters versus the PPM model. The utility of these particular
models for predicting Ts,i are limited to the element blade design (fixed U and TR) tested in
Fig. 11, but can be sacled to other diameters as long as the Lt/D ratio remains between 0.29
and 0.317.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 350

Figure 11. Dimensionless stator torque PPM (a) and RSM (b) for torus geometry scaling of a torque
converter design for a range of operating points
5.4. Pump and stator
The dimensionless PPM and RSM models for a population in which pump and stator
designs varied for a fixed Lt/D are given by:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
| | | |
| |
| |
\ . \ .
¸ ¸
4 5
1 2 3 6 ,
b b
b b b b
s i
c ave
t p
b U TR n
l p
D p
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )( )
( ) ( )
2 2 2 2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
max max
8 9
Pr ...
... .
s i
c ave
c c
t p
b b b U b TR b n b b b U TR
l p
D p
t t
b U b n
l l
| | | |
= + + + + + + + +
| |
| |
\ . \ .
| | | |
+ +
| |
| |
\ . \ .
Sixteen torque converter designs with an Lt/D of 0.3 were formed from various
combinations of 5 pump and 11 stator designs. The dimensionless design parameters of
U, TR, nsb and tmax/lc are required to characterize the effect pump and stator design have
on toriodal flow and incipient cavitation, while Lt/D was eliminated as it remained fixed.
The %RMSE for both the PPM and RSM models increased approximately 2.25% over the
torus scaling population models. This is to be expected as more data points are included,
departing further from geometric similitude. Although the torque converter designs are
more varied, R
a increased for both model functions indicating that the additional
dimensionless design parameters helped to explain the variation in dimensionless stator
torque. With %RMSE‘s of roughly 6% and 5% and R
a greater than 0.92, both models are
a) PPM b) RSM

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 351
accurate for design purposes. Predicted dimensionless stator torque from either model
can be scaled to another diameter if the Lt/D ratio of 0.3 is maintained and the elements
design falls within the scope of the dimensionless design parameters used to develop the

Figure 12. Dimensionless stator torque PPM (a) and RSM (b) for various pump and stator geometry for
a given torque converter torus design for a range of operating points
5.5. General design
For the general design population of torque converters, variations in torus and element
blade geometries were considered to develop a PPM and RSM model for predicting Ts,i at
stall. All of the dimensionless design parameters in Eq. 13 were required to develop the
PPM and RSM models, as all varied for the matrix of designs tested. The PPM model, Eq. 26,
contains 7 dimensionless parameters and 8 regression coefficients, while the RSM model,
Eq. 27, contains 18 dimensionless parameters as determined by the stepwise regression
procedure and 19 regression coefficients.

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
| | | | | | A
| | |
| |
\ . \ . \ .
¸ ¸
5 6 1
2 3 4 7 ,
b b b
b b b b
s i
c ave
L t p
b U TR n
D l p
D p

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )( )
( )( ) ( )
| | | | | |
= + + + + + + + +
| | |
\ . \ . \ .
| | | | | | | | | | A
+ + + + + + +
| | | | |
| | |
\ . \ . \ . \ . \ .
+ +
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 2
max max
8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15
... Pr ...
s i
t t
sb sb
t t
c ave c
L t L
b b b U b TR b n b b b n
D l D
D p
t L L t p
b b b b n b b U TR
l p D D l
b U n b U
( )( ) ( ) ( )
| | | | | |
+ + +
| | |
| | |
\ . \ . \ .
x max max
16 17 18 sb sb
c c c
t t
b TR n b TR b n
l l l
. (27)
a) PPM b) RSM

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 352
Figure 13a and 13b are the PPM and RSM models for a general population of torque
converter desgins plotted as measured versus prediceted dimensionless stator torque. The
model diagonistics of %RMSE and R
a are included in Fig 13 along with the range of
dimensionless design parameters of the converter designs. The range of the dimensionless
operating parameters remained the same as those reported in Table 2.
Either form of the general design population empirical model, PPM or RSM, demonstrates
the capability to be used in the design process to predict onset of cavitation for a torque
converter at stall. %RMSE is below and R
a is above the threshold criteria of what was
deemed acceptable for an accurate and useable model. The RSM model, with it’s statistically
determined functional form and increased number of dimensionless regressors, resulted in a
closer curve fit model than the PPM as seen in Fig. 13, particularly at the extreme values of
dimensionless stator torque. The RSM model‘s %RMSE of 6.52% and R
a of 0.936
demonstrates that an accurate model for predicting a complex flow phenomenon such as
onset of cavitation in a turbomachine when geometric similitude is greatly relaxed can be
developed. The scope of the empirical PPM or RSM models are limited to the range of
dimensionless design parameters reported in Fig. 13 to achieve prediction Ts,i values within
the %RMSE’s noted.
Figure 14 is a histogram of the residual errors, ε, for the general torque converter design
PPM and RSM models. For both empirical models the errors do not significantly deviate
from normalcy and follows that of a normal distribution. Although both models have error
well distributed around zero, the RSM shows a narrower and taller distribution, indicating
that the RSM model prediction capability exceeds that of the PPM model. This is reinforced
by the %RMSE and R
a model diagnostics.

Figure 13. Dimensionless stator torque PPM (a) and RSM (b) for a general design population of torque
converters for a range of operating points
a) PPM b) RSM

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 353

Figure 14. Histogram for general design PPM (a) and RSM (b) model residual error
The span of the experimental data for the 6 diameters, encompassing 51 torque converter
designs are presented in Fig. 15 as pump power at the onset of cavitation. As Fig. 15 shows,
the onset of cavitation occurs within a consistent range of pump power, between 10 and 65
kW, across the range of diameters tested. In general, a torque converter design with a low K-
factor and high TR operating at a high average pressure will transition to cavitation at a
higher value of pump power. It is worth noting that incipient cavitation does not occur at
moderate or heavy pump power, but rather at moderate to low power levels. This indicates
that any given torque converter design has a high potential to cavitate lightly or moderately
during typical driving conditions at or near stall. As discussed previously, incipient or light
cavitation does not hinder performance or component durability. The objective then of the
torque converter engineer is to design the torque converter to operate in a wider speed-
torque range cavitation free to prevent conditions of heavy and sustained cavitation during
atypical driving conditions.
a) PPM b) RSM

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 354

Figure 15. Power at onset of cavitation for general design population of torque converters
Pump torque is the principal parameter used when performing torque converter and engine
matching as it is directly equivalent to engine torque. During the design phase of a torque
converter and subsequent engine matching, Eq. 28 would be used to take the predicted
value of stator torque at the onset of cavitation from Eq. 26 or 27 to calculate pump torque at
onset of cavitation. This enables the torque converter engineer to better formulate a design
that balances performance requirements and minimize cavitation potential when matching
to the torque characteristics of a specific engine.
s i
p i
5.6. Model summary
Table 3 compares each PPM and RSM model developed for the four torque converter design
populations. As geometric similitude decreases the number of dimensionless regressors
required to realize a highly accurate model increases for either the PPM or RSM model. This
is an expected trend as the numerous interactions between design parameters become
increasingly important in determining stator torque at the onset of cavitation while stalled.
The increase in R
a confirms this conclusion as the variation in the data is nearly completly
explained by the addition of the dimensionless design parameters. The gradual increase in
%RMSE from exact geometric similitude to a general design population is not substantial
enough to qualify either the PPM or RSM models to be in accurate or deficient for design
purposes. The regression coefficients for all of the PPM or RSM models have been
purposefully omitted from this chapter as they were derived from proprietary torque
converter designs whose performance attributes could otherwise be extracted.

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 355

Population Similitude
a Regressors
Exact 28 3 3.34 0.566 3 3.73 0.434
Torus Scaling Elements 42 6 2.87 0.926 5 3.87 0.868
Pump and
Stator Design
Torus 224 10 5.16 0.953 7 6.037 0.929
None 714 19 6.52 0.936 8 9.38 0.849

Table 3. Summary of PPM and RSM models predictive capability by torque converter design population
6. Conclusions
The chapter presents experimentally obtained values for stator torque at the onset of
cavitation for torque converters of greatly varying geometric similitude nondimensionalized
and used as dimensionless reponse and regressors for developing empirical models. Power
product method (PPM) and response surface method (RSM) models were curve fit using
regression techniques to dimensionless stator torque as a function of dimensionless design
and operating point parameters. PPM and RSM models created from data sets of decreasing
geometric similitude showed that R
a values above 0.85 are achieved even with greatly
relaxed geometric similitude. The %RMSE values resulting for each PPM or RSM model of
decreasing geometric similitude were not substantial enough to indicate inadequacies in the
dimensional analysis or data modeling methodology. A RSM model was presented which is
capable of predicting Ts,i for general torque converter design with a %RMSE of 6.52%. This
error is deemed sufficiently low and its scope of prediction large enough to rate the RSM
model a valuable tool for optimizing torus and element geometries with respect to the onset
of cavitation at stall in three element torque converters. The next phase of this research will
be to expand testing to include non stall conditions to determine the desinent
(disappearance) point of cavitation and non-dimensionalize the test data into an equivalent
design tool.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 356
Cp Specific heat (kJ/kg·K)
D Diameter (m)
K K-factor (rpm/Nm
Lt Axial length (m)
Np Pump speed
Pr Prandlt number
Q Volumetric flow rate (m
a Adjusted coefficient of multiple determination
Tp,i Pump torque at onset of cavitation (Nm)
Ts,i Stator torque at onset of cavitation (Nm)
SR Speed ratio
TR Torque ratio
U Unit input speed
%RMSE Percent root mean square error
b Regression coefficient
k Thermal conductivity (W/m·K)
lc Chord length (m)
nsb Number of stator blades
pave Average pressure (kPa)
pb Back pressure (kPa)
pc Charge pressure (kPa)
Δp Delta pressure (kPa)
tmax Maximum blade thickness (m)
ŷ Predicted dimensionless response
y Measured dimensionless response
ε Model residual error
ρ Density (kg/m
μ Viscosity (N·s/m
ωp,i Pump speed at onset of cavitation (rad/s)
θ Temperature (˚C)
Author details
Darrell Robinette
General Motors LLC, USA
Carl Anderson and Jason Blough
Michigan Technological University,
Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, USA

Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters 357
7. References
[1] Anderson, C., Zeng, L., Sweger, P. O., Narain A., & Blough, J., “Experimental
Investigation of Cavitation Signatures in an Automotive Torque Converter Using a
Microwave Telemetry Technique,” in Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium
on Transport Phenomena and Dynamics of Rotating Machinery (ISROMAC ’02),
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, February 2002
[2] Courbiere, P., “An Acoustical Method for Characterizing the Onset of Cavitation in
Nozzles and Pumps,” in Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Cavitation
Inception, New Orleans, La, USA, December 1984
[3] Dong, Y., Korivi, V., Attibele, P. & Yuan, Y., “Torque Converter CFD Engineering Part
II: Performance Improvement Through Core Leakage Flow and Cavitation Control,” in
Proceedings of the SAE World Congress and Exhibition, Detroit, Mich, USA, March 2002,
[4] Kowalski, D., Anderson, C. & Blough, J., “Cavitation Detection in Automotive Torque
Converters Using Nearfield Acoustical Measurements,” in Proceedings of the SAE
International Noise and Vibration Conference and Exhibition (SAE ’05), Grand Traverse,
Mich, USA, May 2005, 2005-01-2516
[5] Kowalski, D., Anderson, C. & Blough, J., “Cavitation Prediction in Automotive
Torque Converters,” in Proceedings of the SAE International Noise and Vibration
Conference and Exhibition (SAE ’05), Grand Traverse, Mich, USA, May 2005, 2005-01-
[6] Kutner, M. H., Nachtsheim, C. J. & Neter, J., Applied Linear Regression Models, McGraw-
Hill, New York, NY, USA, 4
edition, 2004
[7] McNulty, P. J. & Pearsall, I., “Cavitation inception in pumps,” Journal of Fluids
Engineering, vol. 104, no. 1, pp. 99–104, 1982
[8] Mekkes, J., Anderson, C. & Narain, A., “Static Pressure Measurements on the Nose of a
Torque Converter Stator during Cavitation,” in Proceedings of the 10th International
Symposium on Transport Phenomena and Dynamics of Rotating Machinery (ISROMAC ’04),
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, February 2004
[9] Montgomery, D. G., Design and Analysis of Experiments, 6th Edition, John Wiley and
Sons Inc., 2005
[10] Robinette, D., Anderson, C., Blough, J., and Johnson, M., Schweitzer, J. & Maddock
D., “Characterizing the Effect of Automotive Torque Converter Design Parameters
on the Onset of Cavitation at Stall,” in Proceedings of the SAE International Noise and
Vibration Conference and Exhibition (SAE ’07), St. Charles, Ill, USA, May 2007, 2007-
[11] Robinette, D., Schweitzer, J., Maddock D., Anderson, C., Blough, J., & Johnson, M.,
“Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Automotive Torque Converters Part I:
Designs with Geometric Similitude,” International Journal of Rotating Machinery, Vol.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 358
[12] Robinette, D., Schweitzer, J., Maddock D., Anderson, C., Blough, J., & Johnson, M.,
“Predicting the Onset of Cavitation in Automotive Torque Converters Part II: A
Generalized Model”, International Journal of Rotating Machinery, Vol. 2008
Chapter 14
Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering
Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input
Takama Suzuki and Masaki Takahashi
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
An automotive performance has improved from the demand of ride comfort and driving
stability. Many research have proposed various control system design methods for active
and semi-active suspension systems. To improve vehicle response by steering, a roll angle
control [1], a distribution control of the suspension stiffness of front and rear [2], and pitch
angle control [3][4] have been proposed. Furthermore, to improve vehicle response due to
disturbance on the road, a tire vertical load control [4-6] caused by road disturbance was
proposed. In recent year, it is reported that roll and lateral vehicle motions are affected by
the road input. These motions are affected by not only road displacement but also the
change of tire side force [8-11]. As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the tire side force is caused by a
toe change and a scuff due to the roll motion and tire side force. However, there are few
research about a suspension control method which takes into consideration with a
suspension characteristic that is change of tire side force caused by suspension stroke and
tire side force.
In this research, we designed a suspension control system which reflects a suspension
characteristic, the change of tire side force caused by suspension stroke and tire side force. A
new semi-active suspension control method is proposed to reduce the vehicle vibration and
vehicle lateral motion due to the road input.
To design such a system, the time delay of the road input from the front wheel to the rear
wheel needed to be modeled. In the vehicle control, there are several control systems which
take into consideration with this delay [12-16]. However, the purpose of these research is to
find a way to reduce the vehicle vertical vibration. Oraby evaluated motion of the vehicle
lateral direction [7]. However, the dynamics of the lateral direction do not be considered in
the control system design.

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 360

Figure 1. Toe change and scuff caused by roll motion and tire side force.

Table 1. Specification of vehicle model
In order to design the controller, a vehicle model including the tire side force change caused
by road disturbance is constructed. Moreover, the road input from the front wheel to the
rear wheel time delay is modelled with Pade approximation. These suspension
characteristics and the time delay are modelled with liner model. The disturbance
accommodating H∞ control which considers the vehicle model including the suspension
characteristic is proposed. In the control, we set the lateral acceleration of the vehicle to one
of controlled outputs. New semi-active suspension control method is proposed to reduce the
vehicle vibration and vehicle lateral motion due to the road input. To verify the feasibility of
the proposed method, several numerical simulations are carried out.
2. Modeling
2.1. Modeling of the vehicle
Figure 2 shows a full vehicle model which is equipped with semi-active suspension between
each wheel and the vehicle body. The weight of the vehicle body is supported by the spring.
We assume that a vehicle model is a generic sedan car as shown in Table 1. The equations of
motion which are, lateral, bounce, roll, pitch, yaw, and each unsprung motion are as
Symbol Value Symbol Value
1900 kg K
50 kg l
1.34 m
600 kgm
1.46 m
3000 kgm
1.50 m
3200 kgm
1.50 m
N/m h
0.45 m
N/m h
0.53 m
300 N/m/s h
0.62 m
300 N/m/s h
0.11 m
Discuss in section 3.3
Discuss in section 3.3
(a) Roll motion. (b) Tire side force
Roll CTR
Rear view Plan view
Toe change
Body Tire
Scuff Scuff
Plan view
Toe change
Body Tire
side force

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 361

( )
1 2 3 4
1 1 1 2 2 2
3 3 3 4 4 4 4
1 2 1 2 1 2
3 4 3 4 3 4
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
b t y y y y
b cg f s f s f s f s
r s r s r s s
r f s s f s s
r s s r s s
M Z K z C z F K z C z F
K z C z F K z C z F
I K z z C z z F F
K z z C z z F F
| |
+ + = + + +
\ .
= ÷ ÷ + ÷ ÷ +
÷ ÷ + ÷ ÷ +
= ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ + ÷
¸ ¸
( + ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ + ÷
¸ ¸
 
 
 
 
( )( ) ( )( )
( ) ( )
1 2 3 4
1 1 1 2 2 2
3 3 3 4 4 4 4
1 2 3 4
( )
( )
( ) ( 1, 2)
y y cg rf m y y cg rr b r
p f f s f s f s f s
r r s r s r s s b p
y y y f y y r
ti ui t ti i f si i si
ti ui
F h h G F F h h M gH
I L K z C z F K z C z F
L K z C z F K z C z F M gH
I F F l F F l
M z K z F K z C t z i
M z K
+ ÷ + + ÷ +
= ÷ ÷ ÷ + ÷ ÷ +
+ ÷ ÷ + ÷ ÷ + +
= + ÷ +
= ÷ ÷ ÷ =
 
 
 
 ( ) ( 3, 4)
t ti i r si i si
z F K z C t z i ÷ ÷ ÷ = 

Figure 2. Vehicle model
where Hr is the distance from a roll center to the CoG of the vehicle body, and Hp is the
distance from a pitch center to the CoG of the vehicle body. These parameters are constant.
Pitch CTR
Roll CTR
, I
, I
Side view
Rear view
Plane view
side- force


New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 362
The spring coefficients of each wheel are different from each other, and were set to K1, 2 = Kf ,
K3, 4 = Kr, Fyi means a tire side force, zsi means a suspension stroke of each wheel, zti means
deformation of the each tire.

1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
( 1...4)
s cg f f u
s cg f f u
s cg r r u
s cg r r u
ti ri ui
z z T L z
z z T L z
z z T L z
z z T L z
z z z i
| u
| u
| u
| u
= + ÷ ÷
= ÷ ÷ ÷
= + + ÷
= ÷ + ÷
= ÷ =
As shown in Fig.2, tire side force is caused by the toe change and the scuff. The toe change
and the scuff are caused by the suspension stroke and the tire side force. The tire side force
of each tire, Fyi , is as follows:

| ¸
| ¸
| ¸
| ¸
| |
| ' = ÷ ÷ ÷ +
\ .
| |
| ' = ÷ ÷ + ÷
\ .
| |
' = ÷ + ÷ +
\ .
| |
' = ÷ + + ÷
\ .

1 1 1
2 2 2
3 3 3
4 4 4
f rf
y Cf sf s s
f rf
y Cf sf s s
r rr
y Cr sr s s
r rr
y Cr sr s s
L h
F K K z z
L h
F K K z z
L h
F K K z z
L h
F K K z z
where, a value in the parenthesis in Eq.(3) means the tire slip angle of each tire. Ksf and Ksr
are the coefficient of toe angle change caused by suspension stroke. The third term in the
parenthesis is the toe angle change caused by the suspension stroke of each wheel, as shown
in Table 2 (A). The fourth term in the parenthesis is the tire slip angle caused by the scuff per
unit time as shown in Table 2 (B). The equivalent cornering stiffness which includes the
compliance steer is as follows:

, ( 1,... 4)
Ci SFi
K i
' = =
where, KCi is the cornering stiffness of each tire. KSFi is the coefficient of the toe angle change
caused by the tire side force, as shown is Table 2 (C). Finally, the characteristic shown in
Table 2 (D) is derived from a first order delay of the equivalent cornering stiffness (Eq. (4)).
Table 2. Modeling of suspension characteristics
Toe-angle change Scuff
Suspension stroke Modeling (A) Modeling (B)
Tire side-force Modeling (C) Modeling (D)

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 363

Table 3. Specification of suspension characteristics

( )
( )
( 1,... 4)
Ci PFi
Ci SFi
G s
T s
T i
= =
where, KPFi is the coefficient of the scuff caused by the tire side force. The characteristics of
the tire side change is modelled from Equations (3) to (5). As shown in Table 3, each
parameter is determined that stability factor was set to the usual value, 1.43×10
on the reference [18].
2.2. Vehicle response caused by antiphase road disturbance
The state equation of the vehicle model which reflects change the tire side force is defined as
Eq. (6). This model is an LTI model when the vehicle velocity is fixed.

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) [ ]
( ) [ ]
( ) [ ]
P P u
u u u u cg u u u u cg y y y y
r r r r
x A x t B w t B u t
x t z z z z z z z z z z F F F F
w t z z z z
u t F F F F
| u | u | ¸
= + +
= e

 
     
We confirmed that the vehicle responsed to an antiphase road disturbance. In this research,
the phases of road input of left-right are zero and π. Zero means a coordinate phase, and π
means the antiphase. In the antiphase road, the road displacement at the vehicle velocity, V,
is as follows.

2 1 3 1 4 1
, ,
s s
r r r r r r
z z z e z z e z
÷ ÷
= ÷ = = ÷ (7)
The transfer function of the vehicle responce caused by the antiphase road disuturbance at
33.3 m/s (120 km/h) is shwon in Fig. 3. Here, Figure 3 (a) is the date of previous study.
Figure 3 (b) is the data of our study. In these figures, specification of the vehicle model of
each study is different. However, from the result showing the same tendency for vehicle
responses, we found that the our model is appropriate.
Symbol Value Symbol Value
0.13 rad/m K
0.13 rad/m K
77000 N/rad K
71000 N/rad K

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 364

Figure 3. Vehicle responce coused by antiphase road disuturbance
2.3. Design of damper coefficient
In general, the performance of the controller is affected by the damping coefficients of the
suspension. In this section, we design the damping coefficient for the evaluation values
which are the vertical acceleration at the coordinate phase road and the lateral acceleration
at the antiphase road. In the next section, we design the control system which uses the
damping coefficients designed in this section. The road condition is shown in Figs. 4 and 5.
The road displacement is assumed such that the Power Spectral Density (PSD) characteristic
of the road surface is C class defined by ISO [19]. The lateral accelerations are shown in Fig.
8 and the lateral acceleration of vehicle body are derived from a geometric relation as
| = ÷
 
cg RC r
y y H (8)

Frequency [Hz]
Lateral displacement
Roll angle
Yaw angle
Lateral displacement
Roll angle
Yaw angle

Frequency [Hz]
Lateral displacement
Roll angle
Yaw angle
Lateral displacement
Roll angle
Yaw angle

Dot: Experimet Line : Simulation
(a) Previous study (Koumura, 2008) (b) Our study (Simulation)

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 365

Figure 4. Power spectral density of road surface profile[19]

Figure 5. Road displacement

Figure 6. Lateral acceleration (Rear view)


Spatial frequency [cycle/m]



Road surface profile
Roll CTR
 
 
 
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Time [s]

FR and FR
RR and RL
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Time [s]


FR and FR
RR and RL
(a) Coordinate phase
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5


Time [s]
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5



Time [s]
(b) Antipahse

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 366

Figure 7. Sensitivity curves of lateral and vertical acceleration [20]

Figure 8. Contour diagram of RMS value of accelerations (unit : m/s
, O : minimum point of (c))
Vertical direction
Lateral direction

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
0.4 0.40

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
(a) Vertical acceleration
(Coordinate phase road)
(b) Lateral acceleration
(Antiphase road)

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
0.6 0.60
(c) Sum of Vertical and lateral acceleration ((a) + (b))

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 367
The sensitivity curves of the lateral and the vertical acceleration are defined by ISO [20]. We
designed the damping coefficient for the suspension to minimize the Root Mean Square
(RMS) which considers the sensitivity curves. A frequency response of the filter [21] which
modeled sensitivity curve with the transfer function is shown in Fig. 7. We calculated the
RMS values using the time history of the vertical and lateral accelerations which pass this
filter. The simulation results when both front and rear damping coefficients are changed are
shown in Fig. 8, which is a contour diagram of the RMS values. There are minimum point in
Fig. 8 (a), (b) and (c). The evaluation value is the sum of vertical and lateral acceleration of
RMS shown in Fig. 8. (c). From the simulation results, the damping coefficients of the
suspension are 2000 and 1300 N/m/s.
3. Controller design
We used the controller designed based on the linear H∞ control theory to a semi-active
suspension. The control system of the semi-active suspension is shown in Fig. 9. An actuator
force command Fli is calculated with the linear H∞ controller. The damping force command
Fdi is translated with a liner-bilinear converter.
3.1. Approximation of time delay of road disturbances
When the front and rear tire passes the same path, road disturbance affects the rear tire has
the delay to the front tire. As shown in Fig. 10, the road input from the front wheel to the
rear wheel is the delayed. The delay is modeled with a third-ordered Pade approximation.
As shown in Fig. 10 (b), we consider the effect of vehicle velocity in the control system
design by using a linear model. To check whether the Pade approximation is correct, we
carried out the numerical simulations. The response of the vehicle model which includes the
Pade approximation when the vehicle runs on the antiphase road disturbance is shown in
Fig. 11. The vehicle velocity is 16.7 m/s (60km/h). In the lower frequency of the resonance
frequency of the tire, we found that the result of the simulation model which uses the time
delay and Pade approximation are almost the same.
3.2. Disturbance-accommodating control
We found that feedforward control of disturbance information in the finite frequency range and
feedback control improve performance [22]. The power spectral density of the actual velocity of
disturbances had flat characteristics in a low frequency, and decreased according to frequency
at a region of high frequency. We assumed that it regarded as the colored noise formed by
shaping filter which has a transfer function with low-pass characteristics. This filter of the each
wheel is based on the road condition which defined by ISO
. The filter is as follows:

2 2
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( 1,... 4)
( )
( )
( 1,... 4)
wi wi wi wi
wi wi wi
wi d
d d d
x t A x t B t
w t c x t i
w s
s s
ç = =
= +
= =
+ +


New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 368
where, wgi is road input of the each wheel, wi is road input of the vehicle model of the
general model as shown in Fig. 7. It was referred to as = t = × 50 2
and ç = 0.706

Figure 9. Control system of semi-active suspension

Figure 10. Approximation of time delay of road disturbances from front to rear wheels.

Actuator force command F
Damping force command
Road disturbance Controlled value
Vertical accelerations of sprung
with Semi-active suspension
z Suspension velocity
Pade approximation
Road disturbance
: Front-Left
: Front-Right
: Rear-Left
: Rear-Right
Road disturbance
: Front-Left
: Front-Right
: Rear-Left
: Rear-Right
t ÷
t ÷
(a) Real world (b) Modeling

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 369

Figure 11. Vehicle response of vehicle model which includes the Pade approximation caused by
antiphase road disturbance
3.3. Disturbance-accommodating H∞ control
The feedforward control of disturbances resulted in worse accuracy outside the assumed
frequency [22]. Furthermore, because each resonance frequency of the vehicles and tire
differs, the control system design considering each resonance frequency is needed.
Therefore, the control system was designed by using the H∞ method in the control theory.
We integrated each state variable of the road disturbance model and frequency weights for
controlled values. The frequency weights are as follows:

( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
zc zc zc zc
zc zc zc zc
zi zi zi zi
zi zi zi zi
x t A x t B x t
z t c x t D x t
x t A x t B u t
z t c x t D u t
¦ = +
= +
¦ = +
= +

where, zzc is controlled value of the vehicle motion, zzi is controlled value of the control
input. Figure 7 shows a block diagram of the generalized plant to design the controller, and
the state-space form of the generalized plant is as follows:
横G/路面変位(左右逆相), 120km/h, Pade近似次数:3

Frequency [Hz]
Pade approximation
(Simulation model)
Real world
Real world
Pade approximation
(Simulation model)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 370

1 2
1 11 12
2 22
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
g g g g g g
g g g g g g
g g g g
x t A x t B w t B u t
z t C x t D w t D u t
y t C x t D u t
= + +
= + +
= +

H∞ norm of the transfer function
g g
z w
G from disturbance wg(t) to controlled value z(t) is
expressed by the following equation.

= =
* 2
sup :
g g
miu G
where, ¸ * is a minimum of H∞ norm of the generalized plant realized with H∞ controller.
The controller is the following equation [23].

¦ = +
 ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )
k k k k g
k k
x t A x t B y t
u t C x t
In this reserch, we assumed that the vehicle speed is constant. The measured outputs, y(t),
are four vertical accelerations of the wheel position of the vehicle body. The controlled
values, z(t), are vertical acceleration, lateral acceleration, vertical velocity of the vhicle body,
tire deformation, and actuating force. Frequency weight Wi, shown in Fig. 13, was
determined by trial and error.
A bandpass filter, W1, that had a peak frequency equal to the resonance frequency of the
passenger’s head was used based on sensitivity curves [20], such as that being standardized
by ISO and shown in Fig. 4. The low pass filter, W2, was used based on sensitivity curves of
lateral direction. In order to prevent the increase of response in each resonance, a low pass
filter W3 and a bandpass filter W4 are used. Moreover, to prevent steady control input, a high
pass filter, W5, was used.

Figure 12. Generalized plant
) ( ) (
) ( ) ( ) (
t x C t u
t y B t x A t x
k k
k k k k
+ = 
Vehicle model
with Pade app.
Road disturbance model
Frequency weights
for controlled values
Generalized plant
Vertical Acce.
Lateral Acce.
Tire disp.
Measured outputs
(Vertical acceleration of sprung)
Vertical Velocity

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 371

Figure 13. Frequency weight
3.4. Comparison of the response of the frequency weight Kw2
To check the effect of the suspension model which includes the tire side force caused by the
road disturbance, we compared two control systems, one which considers the tire side force
and the control system, and one which does not consider one. The design of two general
control methods changed the controlled value of the lateral acceleration of the vehicle body.
Frequency weights, W1, W2, W3, W4, Kw1 = 500, Kw3 = 500, Kw4 = 2000, and Kw5 = 20, are the same
value in the proposed method and general methods. We combined the control system and
vehicle model which includes the tire side force shown in Chapter 2. We used MATLAB
(The Math Work Inc.) to calculate the Runge-Kutta method for the differential equations.
The computational time step is 1 ms. Vehicle velocity is 16.7 m/s (60 km/h). The road surface
conditions are shown in Fig. 5(b). We calculated the RMS values from the time history of
lateral acceleration which passes the filter shown in Fig.7.

Figure 14. RMS value changed by evaluation function of accelerations (Antiphase road)
Freqency [Hz]

(s) (Actuating force)
(Vertical acceleration)
(s) (Tire displasment)
(s) (Vertical velocity)
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000

(without susp. model)

(with susp. model)


(with susp. model)

(without susp. model)
(a) Rolling acceleration (b)Lateral acceleration

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 372
The RMS value changed by the frequency weight, Kw2 is shown in Fig. 14. For a frequency
weight, Kw2, is 1 to 4000, when Kw2 increases, the RMS value of rolling and lateral
accelerations decreased. Furthermore, when Kw2 increases, RMS of lateral acceleration
decreased. From the result of Fig. 14.(b), it was confirmed that the proposed method can
reduce the lateral acceleration due to the road disturbance in comparison with the general
method. We compare the control performance of two controllers which are designed using
the frequency weight shown in Fig. 14.(b). In two controllers, Kw2 is set the smallest RMS
value in 14.(b).
4. Simulation
4.1. Simulation condition
To clarify the effect of the suspension model which includes the tire side force, we compare
the two control systems. The two control systems are designed in Cheater 3. As for the
control system which inflects the tire side force (H∞ cont. (with susp. model)), the frequency
weight of lateral acceleration, Kw2, is 4000. The control system which does not consider the
tire side force (H∞ cont. (without susp. model)), the frequency weight of lateral acceleration,
Kw2, is 6000.
In the simulation, we combine the control system and the vehicle model which includes
the tire side force shown in Chapter 2. The vehicle velocity is 16.7 m/s (60km/h).
Moreover, we assume that the range of the damping coefficient of the semi-active
suspension is 100-10000 N/m/s in Fig. 15. The semi-active damper has the first order
delay. The cut off frequency is 10 Hz. We used MATLAB (The Math Work Inc.) to
calculate the Runge-Kutta method for the differential equations. There were two road
conditions. One is the coordinate phase road in Fig. 5 (a), and the other is the antiphase
road in Fig. 5 (b). To demonstrate the control effect, we show the responses which does
not control he semi-active damper (Non control).
4.2. Simulation results
In check whether the proposed method reduced vertical and lateral motion, we did the
numerical simulations. The time history of the vertical acceleration caused by the coordinate
phase and the lateral acceleration caused by the antiphase road is shown in Fig. 14. The
Lissajous figure for the suspension velocity and the damping force of the front suspension
are shown in Fig. 15. The PSD of the vertical acceleration and the lateral acceleration is
shown in Fig. 16.
In the coordinate phase road, there are few difference in the time history and the Lissajous
figure. As for the PSD, two control systems can reduce the vibration better than the non
control one near the resonance frequencies of the vertical direction of the vehicle body and
vertical direction of the human head. On the other hand, in the antiphase road, there are
differences in the time history and the Lissajous figure. The PSD of lateral acceleration, two

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 373
control systems can reduce the vibration near the frequency range with a high level of
lateral acceleration sensitivity. Additionally, the control system which includes suspension
model of the tire side force change caused by road disturbance can reduce the vibration
better than the control system which does not include the tire side force change in the same
frequency range. The simulation results confirmed that using the proposed control system
reduces the vertical and the lateral motion of the vehicle caused by the disturbance in the

Figure 15. Semi-active dumper model

Figure 16. Time history

Tension Compression
Actuating area of
Semi-active dumper
Suspension velocity
= 2000N/m/s
= 2000N/m/s
(a) H

controller (without suspension model) (b) H

controller (with suspension model) (c) Non control
2 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4
Time [s]
(a) Vertical acceleration (Coordinate phase road)
2 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4

Time [s]
(b) Latera acceleration (Antiphase road)

New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering 374

Figure 17. Lissajous figure (Suspension velocity and damping force)

Figure 18. PSD values
(a) H

controller (without suspension model) (b) H

controller (with suspension model) (c) Non control
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
Front-left Front-right
Suspension velocity [m/s] Suspension velocity [m/s]




(a) Coordinate phase road
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
Front-left Front-right
Suspension velocity [m/s] Suspension velocity [m/s]




(b) Antiphase road
Frequency [Hz]
Frequency [Hz]
Non control

cont.(with susp. model)・・・(a)

cont.(with susp. model)・・・(b)
Non control

cont.(with susp. model)・・・(a)

cont.(with susp. model)・・・(b)
Non control

cont.(with susp. model)

cont.(with susp. model)
Non control

cont.(with susp. model)

cont.(with susp. model)
(a)and (b) are same responce.
(a) Vertical acceleration
(Coordinate phase)
(b) Latera acceleration
(Antiphase road)

Semi-Active Suspension Control Considering Lateral Vehicle Dynamics Due to Road Input 375
5. Conclusion
This research proposed disturbance accommodating H∞ control which considers the vehicle
model in order to reduce the vehicle vibration and vehicle lateral motion due to the road
input. We formulate the vehicle model including the suspension characteristic that is the toe
change and the scuff caused by suspension stroke and tire side force. In order to verify the
feasibility of the proposed method, the numerical simulations were carried out. From the
result, it was confirmed that the proposed control system is effective for reducing not only
the vertical vibration but also the lateral vehicle motion due to the road disturbance in
comparison with the control method without considering the suspension characteristic.
Author details
Takama Suzuki and Masaki Takahashi
Keio University, Japan
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Section 4


Chapter 15
Performance Measurement in Supply
Chains: A Study in the Automotive Industry
Mário Sacomano Neto and Sílvio R. I. Pires
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
1. Introduction
Transformation and growth on the automobile sector has opened a vast research field
involving supply chain performance measurement. The change on the pattern in the
relationship of the automakers with suppliers and dealers is accompanied by a need for
modifications on the supply chain performance measurement systems.
In the last years, several and new productive arrangements were implanted in the Brazilian
automobile industry, among them the modular consortium and the industrial
condominiums. Those new arrangements are characterized by a high degree of outsourcing,
long-term contracts, co-production of components, transfer of information and support to <